Industry Solutions and Tivoli
I recently had the opportunity to attend an Autonomic Computing(AC) summit with customers and business partners at the IBM Amagi Homestead in Naka-Izu-cho, Japan. I was looking forward to the weekend retreat, not just because of the great sashimi (and the chance to wear a yukata ;), but because a number of business partners would be presenting how IBM AC technologies are helping to differentiate their products. Bright and early Saturday morning before the meeting began , we had the customary group photo in front of one of the putting greens with Fuji, which was unfortunately obscured in the process of scanning this picture, as a backdrop. (I am seated in the center, front row)
We arrived at Amagi early Friday afternoon after taking a train down the coast from Tokyo followed by a bus ride up the mountain where the business retreat would take place. As our bus emerged from mandarin groves along the narrow coastal plains and began the steep climb to the Amagi homestead 2500 feet in elevation we all strained to see the first glimpse of Mount Fuji through the mist and forest...
Suddenly to searching eyes
Startling like the first chord struck from celestial amps
Proudly peaked with white
Humbly hushing all
Ahhh Inspired by Fuji and inspired to be on a mission in Amagi, a mission with a grand challenge! The challenge? To truly work together as an industry, setting a new precedent of cooperation, in the battle to reduce IT complexity. Its all about finding new common ground as the way to move forward...and Amagi was all about demonstrating how we are finally beginning to take that journey together.
The Manifesto of Autonomic Computing maintains that the information technology boom can only expand for so long before it collapses under the weight of its own complexity. A complexity fueled by the ever increasing availability of disparate technologies coupled with global expansion, mergers and acquisitions. We need a different model if we are to move to the next generation of business enabled by information technology. The human body's autonomic nervous system presents a very interesting model. The autonomic nervous system is a part of the peripheral nervous system that functions to regulate the basic visceral processes needed for the maintenance of normal bodily functions. It operates independently of voluntary control, freeing humans from complex management tasks that could distract from higher physical or intellectual tasks. Let's face it - if we approached the management of our body the way we approach the management of IT, everyone on our bus would have missed that first poetry inspiring view of Fuji! We would have been so distracted with consulting manuals and contacting experts (to reconfigure breathing, heart rate, skin temperature and pupil dilation to insure optimum performance in an environment that was undergoing a rapid altitude change) that we would have missed the more important view.
So what is Autonomic Computing? It's an enabler for focusing on the higher level business view without the distraction of managing the technology. AC is also all about a challenge to the IT industry to work together to reduce complexity and create self managing systems. The ability to cross technology barriers imposed by complexity is critical if we are to advance to the next generation of business.(ie: on demand)
The Amagi retreat was a deep dive into Japanese culture for me. The meetings and activities had a sincere openness and inclusiveness to them which I greatly appreciated. It was also an honest immersion into how Japanese companies are making significant progress with the challenge of AC. There is a lot of momentum in Japan led by IBM-J and a number of innovative business partners. In Amagi, companies such as Toshiba, a true autonomic leader, described how the incorporation of AC technologies from the AC Toolkit such as the Autonomic Management Engine(AME) and the Log Trace Analyzer(L/TA) as well as the Common Base Event (CBE) XML schema have helped to deliver real value. The autonomic architecture, standards, and technologies have provided a common ground for business partners to start to work together on this shared journey towards self-configuring, self-healing, self-optimizing, and self-protecting systems.
I have been working with a number of business partners who will be joining me at PartnerWorld in Las Vegas in the beginning of March to demonstrate how they are moving forward with Autonomic Computing technologies. I am really excited about this years event and can already feel the AC spirit. But more on that later... (My autonomic system is telling me to take a break and watch some autonomic nervous system in action - AC-C basketball.)
This has been quite an exciting week at Partnerworld(PW) in Las Vegas. (And not just because I had beginners luck at the slots last night!) There is a level of excitement and enthusiasm this year with our business partners that I did not feel last year. It certainly helped to have the PW Solution showcase open Sunday night with Singlestep winning CRN Best of Show for the work they did incorporating and shipping AC technology in their products for the small and mid-sized enterprise markets. I have seen some very impressive technology from our partners on the showcase floor and in face to face meetings. I have also witnessed a new level of collaboration between our AC partners that is generating a number of new ideas and business opportunties to the extent that we are now thinking about forming the first AC business partner user group![Read More]
Go to http://www-130.ibm.com/developerworks/autonomic/ and check out the SPOTLIGHT article 'IBM furthers autonomic computing through partnerships' and the EDITOR'S PICK 'Singlestep Unity Policyscape the Autonomic Management Engine' for more info on the company and product that just won best of show at Partnerworld![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 453 Visits
Ok I admit, aside from NCAA basketball tournament in March, my favorite show this time of the year is American Idol... and the good news this week is both rockers made the cut for the final 12!
On AI last season Simon criticized one of the contestants because he perceived they were not singing for the people but rather appeared to just love the sound of their own voice.
Clint Boulton wrote an article for internetnews.com last July entitled: "IBM's Autonomic for the People!" I think he was one of the first writers to see the star power potential of Autonomic Computing;)
Clearly participating vendors benefit, but the real winner is the customer when companies work together to remove complexity and build self-managing IT infrastructures. How do you get connected to this initiative? A good place to start is the eclipse based AC toolkit which can be downloaded at no charge at:
It is easy to see that AI is hot from a network ratings perspective from the astronomical number of text and call-in ballots from across the country....and it's easy to see that AC is hot from the tens of thousands of downloads already on a global basis. Take some advice from Partnerworld, "Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy" ..open up and download in ...you know it's easy...[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 442 Visits
AC of course! Check out this week's article by Luke Meredith: http://searchdatacenter.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid80_gci1065480,00.html[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 461 Visits
There was an OASIS announcement last week that was of significant importance to customer IT shops around the world. Why? It demonstrates industry vendors(i.e. Actional, BEA Systems, BMC Software, Computer Associates, Dell,Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, IBM, Novell, Tibco, and Others) are willing to work together to solve the problem of complexity.
Last week, OASIS announced Web Services Distributed Management was approved as an OASIS standard. http://www.oasis-open.org/news/oasis_news_03_09_05.php
This supports the goal of IBMs autonomic and on demand computing initiatives. i.e. utilizing broadly adopted tooling and runtime technologies to yield better, seamless integration between systems management processes, solutions and business applications.
Just as SOA has improved the flexibility and sophistication of business applications, SOA also brings new capabilities to enterprise wide systems management and opens the door for new technologies like self-managing systems, i.e. Autonomic Computing. IBM has contributed and will continue to contribute key autonomic computing technologies, like the Common Base Event(CBE),into open standards like WSDM.
CBE is a good example of the value standards like this deliver. Without an industry standard like CBE that can drive convergence, all events (logfiles, tracefiles, etc.) remain in different formats making it virtually impossible to compose an end-to-end view in a multi-vendored, heterogeneous environment. This requires numerous experts and product specific sets of tooling to debug problems. With an industry standard like CBE we can drive towards a unified, easily correlated, standardized event format that makes diagnosis of problems over a wide range of heterogeneous resources possible. CBE enables the capability to perform fast and accurate root cause identification of problems and enables the automation of PD in complex scenarios.
Approval of the WSDM spec is a significant step forward for the industry in three key areas: 1) managing IT resources and in providing technology to manage web services 2)providing a scalable solution for managing IT environments, from the small and medium to the large enterprise level and 3) providing a foundation for enabling customers to exploit Web services and manage heterogeneous environments.
For faq see: http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/wsdm/faq.php[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 471 Visits
Kevin McAuliffe talks about the logical extension of CBE to business level monitoring and its coincidence with Common Event Infrastructure(CEI).
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 438 Visits
Yesterday I spent some time reflecting on how leadership in one of our teams made the difference in driving extraordinary results and I had the chance to speak about that in a meeting. Following my remarks the point was made that leadership strength ultimately comes from the team. When I woke up this morning I was thinking about yesterday's events (as I often do each morning) and thought again about the question, What constitutes a good leadership team? 'The 8th Habit' by Stephen R. Covey just happened to be by my desk and on page 123 (thanks R.L.) I came across this statement: "Ultimately a good leadership team is a complementary team where people's strengths are made productive and their weaknesses made irrelevant by the strengths of others." Very true.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 475 Visits
A question that often arises in autonomic computing discussions is what happens to people's jobs and organizations as we evolve IT infrastructures forward towards the autonomic state?
This evolution of the IT infrastructure occurs across the five levels of autonomic maturity defined as basic, managed, predictive, adaptive, and autonomic. An infrastructure cannot evolve from any one of these levels to another simply on a technology basis. To successfully move forward requires adjusting relevant processes and corresponding roles and responsibilities while deploying the latest autonomic capabilities. Failing to spend the required time in reengineering process and roles is a common mistake in many IT based organizations as they tend to be mostly technology focused. This prevents many organizations from leveraging the latest autonomic capabilities and prevents(unknowingly in most cases) the ability to evolve forward.
Roles and processes will change - they must if you are to fully benefit from the latest autonomic technology. Rather than jobs going away this is driving jobs to evolve from ones that have a lot of repetitive tasks into a new set of more interesting roles and responsibilities.
A recent interview with Jeff Kephart of IBM Research entitled Computers That Fix Themselves in Forbes.com addresses fears of those who think they may lose their jobs to this technology: "We're not taking humans out of the loop," says Kephart. "What we're doing is elevating humans to a higher level where they specify what they want in terms that are closer to the business level, which is really what they're interested in, as opposed to the micro level, which is getting into bits and bytes."[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 479 Visits
I spent some time recently with Tim Bradshaw, Infoconomy on my last trip to Europe. His article, Autonomic for the people , based on our conversation and interviews with other vendors and analyst Donna Scott of Gartner hit the web this past week. Tim does a very good job of capturing some of the major initiatives and thinking around today's autonomic movement. After reading his report I must agree with Tim that the data center is indeed overwhelmed today with a proliferation of applications and IT tools that require manually intensive efforts that 'wastes talent, ...strangles innovation, and is inordinately inefficient."
Will IBM's autonomic computing revolutionize system management? Actually, the strategy is not to create a revolution but to facilitate an evolution of current infrastructures towards a more autonomically mature state. For sure it is a grand challenge to get the industry to work together on a new set of unifying standards and technologies that will make this possible but it is happening. In fact, it is happening faster than anyone predicted. OASIS just ratified one such standard called WSDM that includes the XML SCHEMA based Common Base Event that is critical to delivering self-healing heterogeneous multi-vendored systems. This coupled with other autonomic integrating technologies, that are appearing for the first time in the industry's history, are having a profound impact in the most complex and challenging customer scenarios. These are the very scenarios that are requiring manually intensive efforts today that are inordinately inefficient. We are identifying these scenarios one by one and driving technology proof of concepts that represent the first emergence of self-healing systems. This in turn allows people to shift their focus and talents to the more interesting challenges of innovation for the business and this is exciting for talented IT professionals. Autonomic for the people! Write on Tim!
A roomful of relatives can mean something different depending on who you talk to. Personally, there are times that I am grateful for relatives, but right now a room with an oceanview without the relatives in it - that would work well for me.
Customer IT infrastructures without Autonomic Computing? "Its like a roomful of relatives all talking about the same set of problems at the same time, but in different languages with no one listening, and no structure for finding solutions to their common afflictions.", according to a recently published Red Herring article entitled, Anticipating Autonomics
Combining IBM's autonomic self-managing technologies with business partner Singlestep's Unity product was, in the author's words 'like getting all the chattering neurotic relatives to take turns talking to a group therapist in a common language.'
There is a growing momentum within a number of hot startups like Singlestep to deliver value with Autonomic Computing. Venture capital investors see opportunity in these companies with autonomic computing as a theme according to Red Herring. Another excellent example cited of such a company is Network Physics in Mountain View, California that offers a product that incorporates IBM autonomic technology compatible with autonomic computing architecture.
hmmm - maybe a little more unity and some applied network physics would work with my relatives...[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 516 Visits
My idea of a good time is visiting famous bridges in the world. If you have ever visited the Tower Bridge you might agree with me. If you haven't I really recommend it for your next trip to London. I toured the Tower Bridge with my daughter, Abbie, who studied it in great detail for one of her univeristy engineering projects. Lately I have been reading about the award winning Oresund Bridge which recently opened linking Denmark and Sweden for the first time in history. I have only seen it from the air on approach into Copenhagen. The high bridge has the longest cable-stayed main span in the world for both road and rail traffic and the 16+ km structure plunges into the sea (a breathtaking view from the air) in the middle of an artificial island to accomodate the shipping channel. The bridge provides an unprecedented surface connection from southern Sweden to the rest of Europe and there was a number of studies done as to what impact this might have on southern Sweden's people and their jobs.
Bridges are a useful analogy for what we are doing in Autonomic Computing. If you consider the unifying standards and integrating technology we are building for the industry it is analogous to the unifying impact bridges can have on different countries and their people. We often talk of the walls between development programmers and system programmers and the need to build better bridges between development and operations. As we bring such standards as CBE and Solution Install to fruition it is becoming more and more apparent how they can play a powerful role in bridging these two worlds. In fact they have played an important role in bridging the industry in the self-healing and self-configuring initiatives of Autonomic Computing.
An important announcement was just released from Oasis entitled, OASIS Forms Committee to Standardize Software Installation Characteristics for Lifecycle Management. IBM along with HP, Sun, Novell,Fujitsu, NEC, CA, and ZeroG are among the companies that will collaborate on Packaging for Distributed Application Environment on a standardized method for expressing software installation characteristics required for lifecycle management in distributed, multi-platform environments.
This work will provide an industry first in bridging the world of development and operations by creating a systematic way to package and declare all dependencies of any given component in any target heterogeneous environment. It will result in better time to value and ROI as well as lower support costs. Bridging these two worlds will also create new roles. For example: the solution developer whose job it will be to capture and codify all dependencies for all the target environments the code will manifest itself in... And that is just a first peek at what new views and capabilities will be possible from this unprecedented span![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 527 Visits
Many years ago, when I was a systems programmer at Carrier(United Technologies), we developed a beautiful application that could update all the database and networking products and only required one entry to accomodate all the needs of a new user. It had a few flaws - it was highly customized, dependent on non-standard interfaces, and not documented(er- at all) - but it was an awesome tool to bridge development and operations for the brief time we used it (before some of the dependencies changed and the author of the affected code jumped to another company!)
I am on my way to Las Vegas for this year's Rational User Conference where I will do a mini-theater about building better bridges between development and operations by using self-managing autonomic technologies based on strategic and sustainable standards. As I took off from LaGuardia for Las Vegas, I got a glimpse of the Whitestone between the Bronx and Queens. Did you know the Whitestone is the 7th longest main span in the US? (Verrazano-Narrows has the longest at 4,260 feet, not the Golden Gate) The fifth longest in the US has a pretty amazing story - The Tacoma Narrows just south of Seattle. When it first opened on July 1, 1940 it was the third longest suspension span in the world and by most accounts the most beautiful- slender, sleek, structural grace - a truly artistic rendering at a truly high cost. It seems that artistry took precedence over sustainable architecture and design that could withstand the aerodynamics of Puget Sound. No problem with the weight of tons of traffic - it was that pesky wind coming up the sound that could whip it like a rope into a sine wave(hence the name Galloping Gertie) that caused it to plop into the river only 4 months after it opened! The video of its collapse, which I first watched in college physics, is some of the most spectacular footage I have ever seen.
I plan to have some more fun with this video during my gig at Mandalay Bay this week to illustrate how the right architecture, open standards and integrating technologies can build much more effective and sustainable bridges between development and operations. We all know that highly customized, one-off,propriatary approaches, while sometimes beautiful, are almost always a waste of resource and time. The last few weeks have seen some very exciting announcements about how the industry is really collaborating on new autonomic standard designed to address this very problem. There will also be more exciting news this week for the over 2000 people expected to attend the annual Rational User Conference and I am anxious to share it!
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 405 Visits
You may know that in Texas they have Texans but in Nevada they have Toxins! Five hot miked singers belting out tight a cappella harmonies with vocal percussion and voice effects processors that blew everyones socks off to kick off the 2005 Rational User Conference. I think in autonomic terminology we would call this self-orchestration.
Mike Devlin, co-founder of Rational, announced his plans to retire but not before leaving us with some final observations. Mike emphasized the ever growing importance of software. It wasnt that long ago that software was nonexistent in appliances, cameras, cars, etc. In just the last few years the lines of code in the average automobile has exceeded one million and in the next few years that number will soar to tens of millions of lines of code governing every conceivable aspect. The automobile industry calls it the new generation of drive by wire cars. Software has provided advanced new features and is helping to make cars safer but on the other hand the fastest growing percentage of warranty costs is now in software maintenance. Clearly, the big challenge to stay competitive will be to build better bridges between development and warranty providers.
Rational is more important than ever in helping developers build better software and in creating better bridges between business, development, and operations and Danny Sabbah, the new Rational GM, wasted no time in jumping into on stage live demos, a cappella, to demonstrate the rapid advancement
of the Rational portfolio with its latest features.
Back from a very blistering 105F Vegas to a very cool gray 58F New York with a sore back from riding the back of an MD80 for way too many hours hunched over an X40...the sounds of Thomas Dolby still resonating in my head - especially his sonification of a very active period of solar activity that happened a couple of years ago. Remember the one that even took out communications?
Dolby http://www.thomasdolby.com/index_frameset.html brought a lot of energy to the Rational User Conference demonstrating the powerful potential of software. I wonder if there is a place for self-sonifying technology in the autonomic portfolio? Imagine, for example, applying sonification to raw application traffic data for monitoring and automating responses to the pitch and frequency changes that represent actionable events. You could build a sonic knowledge base for pattern based learning - like adding ears to your router!
Some topics for discussion and to jumpstart your thinking after a long memorial day weekend. (The only thing I am up to exercising is my brain after an overly ambitious tree planting project this weekend...red maples, bradford pears, mountain ash, and a peach tree!)
Can self-awareness be achieved for IT infrastructers? What would enable self-awareness? Neural Networks? Self-adapting Programs? or some other Biological inspired Solution?
As systems become more automated will they become more brittle?
Can we formalize everything into policies?
Some maintain that manual is still better for the most complex tasks? Do you agree?
Thoughts? Topics you have been thinking about?
I wanted to point out an important announcement this week from Macrovision regarding the availability of their product which is a result of more than two years of collaboration with the IBM autonomic team and other industry leaders to build foundational technologies and new industry standards for self-configuring systems. As you recall(see earlier blog entry) an important announcement was recently released from Oasis entitled, OASIS Forms Committee to Standardize Software Installation Characteristics for Lifecycle Management This represents unprecedented industry collaboration in the self-configuring space that, coupled with this significant announcement from Macrovision, represents a set of game-changing events for lifecycle management in distributed, multi-platform environments that (and here is the really good news from Macrovision) can deliver real value to our customers today.
Related articles also published this week include TechWeb entitled Macrovision Automates Complex Software Installations. and Computerworld Macrovision tool automates software delivery
Other important announcement by Macrovision this week was their acquistion of Zero G.
Zero G has been a key collaborative force in driving and defining Self-Configuring standards and technologies.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 435 Visits
The most fun we had working out Chicago tunes in my former band called 'Bug and the Symptoms'(formed by members of the VTAM software development team)was the collaboration and then enjoying together our unique rendering that resulted each time we played together. John Sant'Ambrogio, principal cellist, St Louis Symphony , speaking on the creative aspect of collaboration said '...art, by its very nature, seems to involve a working together- a collaboration between performers, or between artist and audience, or even between the musician and the notes on the page...the cooperative spirit - a sharing,a give and take - is inherent in the creative experience...'
Software design and development has been often referred to as an art(ref: Knuth, Ganssle, and others)as much as a science. I have also seen it done as a team sport. MIT Technology Review, November 2003, wrote about Zero G 's collaborative approach to improving quality via extreme programming whose precepts include: Interaction between developers and customers and that Programmers should work in pairs, sharing one screen...
As the autonomic team participates in this week's IEEE International Conference on Autonomic Computing in Seattle and prepares to participate in next week's Supernova in San Francisco we have been working on how to share our story of collaboration with some of the best software 'artists' on this planet. This collaboration is made possible on a global level by the latest enabling technologies: www, open standards, downloadable toolkits, web based development portals, web based support, etc. Preparing for ICAC and Supernova has caused us to pause and consider the tremendous impact this collaboration has had on our advance towards the autonomic vision. Previous development methodologies would have never gotten us to where we are today. Working together... visionary companies, leading universities, creative individuals, etc... creates a virtual team capable of building next generation self-managing systems and ushering in next generation business models...[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 652 Visits
I arrived at SFO yesterday to attend Supernova. San Francisco always surprises me with its cool and refreshing summer breezes.
This morning's Supernova began with a talk by Jonathan Schwartz(Pres. and COO of Sun Microsystems) followed by
a panel discussion by Catherine Fake(Flickr) ,Amy Jo Kim(SocialDesigner), Mena Trott(Six APart), Lili Cheng(MS), and Evan Williams(Odeo) Here are some discussion points...
Will the internet and intranet remain distinct? Should corporate leaders have an external and internal blog? Jonathan , answered that he only has one blog for all communications, in response to Amy Wohl, http://www.wohl.com/ early this morning, the first full day of Supernova2005. Blogs can effectively flatten the traditional hierarchial communications structure as a way to insure your message gets through - in tact. Jonathan maintains that his transparent use of blogging is critical to being an effective leader in today's world. btw, Jonathan is listed as a top corporate blogger by Deepblog http://www.deepblog.com/ which is a website focused on helping to identify leading bloggers amongst those now numbering in the millions.
We are moving to a different world of communication as the lines and space between between entry and senior roles in corporations, personal and professional, adult and juvenile, are being redrawn by technologies such as www, blogging, instant messaging, mobile communications, virtual world 'gaming', personal websites, chatrooms, wiki's,etc. Those in their twenties are naturally leading the charge. The power is shifting to the people, to the employees, away from (as my daughter puts it) 'the man.' Datasharing and personal publishing is becoming more and more a part of our daily routine. With all that his technology has to offer, what implications are there to the permanent archiving and subsequent availability of such sharing as we move forward?[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 462 Visits
My mother used to ask me this all the time and I never knew quite what to say. I am finally on a mission to find out. I have just requested a kit to submit a DNA sample. This afternoon at Supernova2005 , Kris Lichter from IBM, gave his perspective on the Genographic Poject.
IBM and National Geographic's Genographic Project is the most ambitious genetic anthropology research initiative in history, with plans to gather one of the largest collections of DNA samplesto map how humankind populated the planet. All data will be submitted to a central DNA Analysis Reposirtory (DAR) in Washington, DC built on IBM H/W and S/W technology. This is truly a global collaborative initiative as over 100,000 people contribute DNA and in return will learn about their own heritage and their family's journey throught the ages. The results will be available via a private logon to a secure web site.
Over 49,000 kits were acquired by the public worldwide within the first ten weeks with over $1M generated to help the world's unique remaining tribal populations. In addition, several unsolicited offers to participate from the global scientific community have resulted.
'Innovation that matters to the world' is the new mantra.
So where in the world have you been?[Read More]
Like many things, you get out of them what you put into them, right? The same is certainly true with collaboration, especially globally. This morning the focus was on the importance of learning from the bottom-up, from the end-user, how 'swarm ecosystems' drive 'swarm innovation.' It is all about sharing ideas to build knowledge as opposed to knowledge monopolies. It is about the customer as the innovator (ref 'The Only Sustainable Edge' by Brown and Hagel )
Sharing ideas is really what Supernova2005 is all about: Connecting worlds through connected platforms. Recently, I have been blogging on how IBMs Autonomic Computing Initiative is connecting technology and people in a unique way and this week we bring our story to Supernova.
Alan Ganek was featured in today's Spotlight Talk sesison. Alan first reviewed the industry wide grand challenge of building self-managing systems - he further explained our focus on integrating technologies with a focus on task accomplishment as opposed to delivering disassociated silos of technologies.
We are providing a variety of ways to 'swarm' with innovators worldwide. Given the industry wide global challenge, our approach leverages the latest collaborative methodologies and technologies including web based development portals and downloadable autonomic toolkits. About 35,000 people per month collaborate in The Autonomic Computing Zone.
Common components for Self-Managing Autonomic Technology provide for an open framework for the industry and access to technology is provided AS it is being developed, and at no charge. These are components that stand on their own and can be embedded into other systems and applications. Of course another key facilitator is using/defining open standards. Some of the things we are doing to facilitate global collaboration...
So weigh in and... swarm with me[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 395 Visits
I am waiting for my flight at SFO so I thought I would post one more blog from my week at Supernova2005. Here are some of the quotes I enjoyed from one of the Supernova2005 Wiki's this week:
Linda Stone: "Being connected is what makes us feel alive" "What's the new aphrodisiac - committed attention and focus. Is there a higher compliment than being given this focus. Trusted filters, trusted protectors, truster concierge. Filters for signal from news. Meaningful connections that make us feel secure. These are the new opportunities." "Leisure time is what makes us human."
Commander Greg Glaros: "We may think we're a benign giant, but the U.S.'s biggest export is entertainment, and we're destroying cultures."
"One man's crap is another's Van Gogh" -- Marc Canter
"Trust is the currency of the participation age." Jonathan Schwartz
"Hyperlinks are a new form of social gesture" - Dave Sifry
To really understand the problem "freeze the context"
"Drag and drop me with your best shot!" - B.Benton[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 392 Visits
For many, autonomic computing is likely to conjure up the vision IBM first introduced to the industry almost 4 years ago. That vision has now translated to a comprehensive set of services, software, ingredient branding, and industry participation that clearly has brought autonomic computing to 'center stage.' Industry leaders are now actively participating with IBM to make self-managing IT systems a reality, and customers and Business Partners are seeing self-managing autonomic technology deliver significant, quantifiable value today.
Today the following press release was issued: IBM Launches New Autonomic Offerings for Self-Managing IT Systems There are four major parts to today's announcement: 1) New service offerings to accelerate business value from autonomic computing, 2) New Autonomic Software that helps drive down cost and improve availability, 3) Unprecedented industry participation in standards for improved customer IT manageability, and 4) A new ingredient branding program that helps clients identify partner products that deliver improved manageability.
The first story to hit the press regarding this announcement came from Paula Musich, from eWeek(thank you Paula!) entitled IBM Hits Autonomic Milestone Paula did a great job of summarizing how the new accelerator offerings from IGS will help address customer IT issues. Paula also highlighted the significance of high level industry collaboration taking place in autonomic computing as well as the new software and the new ingredient branding program which in Paula's words is IBM's creation of 'its own autonomic form of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.'
It's exciting to step back and consider where we are today with our journey towards self-managing systems. Our collaboration as an industry and with our customers is paying off - delivering real value to businesses that is saving time and expense on IT tasks! Now that is worth writing about! so stay tuned - cause we're going prime time![Read More]
The IBM Self-Managing Autonomic Technology Mark Program was announced last week and Autonomic Business Partners Corente , Macrovision Corporation , nLayers Inc., and Singlestep Technologies are already signed on. This program enables qualified independent software vendors to include the IBM Self-Managing Autonomic Technology mark on their product packaging and marketing materials. (See also this week's press release from Singlestep Technologies. )
What is really hitting the mark, however, is the quantifiable business value that this new and exciting program is delivering to IT shops such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York. MOMA has recently undergone extensive renovation and if you haven't toured its galleries lately I highly recommend it! The recently completed building project represents MoMA's most extensive redefinition since its founding seventy-five years ago. MOMA is also a leader in the arts when it comes to applying the latest technologies to enable web based commerce and online collection viewings for its' members. Read what Steve Peltzman, MOMA CIO, has to say about his collaboration with nLayers and IBM in this week's Computerworld article IBM Adds Autonomic Tools to Speed Up Error Detection. He compares the MOMA autonomic project to having intelligent robots around to do the mundane tasks for you. And the 'robots' are able to alert IT staff to problems before the help desk gets the call. The author of this Computerworld article, Patrick Thibodeau, also spoke with Peter Stone, a professor of computer science at the University of Texas at Austin, who was one of the speakers at the second International Conference on Autonomic Computing last month in Seattle. Peter makes the point that given where IT infrastructures are headed, autonomic computing "just has to happen!"
There have been numerous other success stories from others as well, such as Carey Capaldi from Technicolor, another leading edge company benefiting from autonomic technology that supported Steven Spielberg's recent release 'War of the Worlds.' I saw this movie last weekend and really enjoyed it. It is a classic completely redone with superb digital effects, acting, and direction. It stars Tom Cruise as a deadbeat dad that (after hiding under the kitchen table with his kids) really rose to the challenge in delivering his daughter and his son from the jaws of aliens to the arms of MOMA. Technicolor labs in North Hollywood and New York provided all of the front end lab processing for Paramount and DreamWorks' 'War of the Worlds.' Technicolor services included front end dailies processing utilizing the ENR process to convey the film's futuristic look... And supporting Technicolor's intensive digital archive runs is our latest autonomic computing problem determination technology! Capaldi describes the autonomic technology as able to tie all the logs together, to view relationships between system technologies and pinpoint where problems occur. The next stage of our project at Technicolor is to build in control loops to drive automated response to problems. This will help to enable Technicolor to meet agressive movie production schedules more reliably and predictably with less cost.
Each business partner has worked with us to demonstrate clear business value with a customer, which is one of the prerequisites of using the IBM Self-Managing Autonomic Technology Mark, in addition to adoption of autonomic standards and technology. This mark provides a clear differentiator for products that are focused on reducing complexity and providing self-managing capabilities. Andrew Cunningham, Head of Shared Infrastructure, Reuters, spoke about the mark stating "This assures us the product will fit smoothly and seamlessly into Reuters' plans for a more self-managing IT environment ensuring the service quality and availability of our own solutions and thus help give us a competitive edge in the market place."
When we work together in this way to help business be successful with technology then we know we are really hitting the mark and winning the war on complexity![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 501 Visits
Recently I had the opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made in autonomic problem determination standards and technology adoption across the portfolio of IBM products. Impressive progress has already resulted in a portfolio of IBM products available to assist in problem determination for the most complex environments. Here is a quick summary:
The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) announced the ratification of Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM) in March 2005. The (WSDM) Event Format (WEF) is part of the WSDM 1.0 standard and is based on IBM's submission of Common Base Event(CBE) to OASIS.
IBM, along with other companies have been busy implementing CBE support in their products, because of the immediate customer value that can be derived from such a common event format. Support is already available in products such as DB2, Websphere Application Server, and many others. IBM has also provided tools from Rational like the Performance Optimizer ToolKit and the Problem Resolution ToolKit for Rational Application Development that help analyze events from multiple products to aid in problem determination. Tivoli will also be providing monitoring solutions that receive and analyze Common Base Events. CBE based tools and technologies can even be downloaded see the Autonomic Computing Toolkit along with hundreds of adaptors for IBM and non-IBM legacy log files.
Now that the WSDM technical committee has approved the WEF standard, IBM is already working to support the WEF standard in future products. Open standards are an important part of the IBM Autonomic Computing initiative. IBM has made, and will continue to make, key autonomic computing contributions, such as the Common Base Event, to open standards bodies such as OASIS. WEF is a good example of the value that standards can deliver. Without an industry standard event format that can drive convergence, events would remain in different formats, making it extraordinarily difficult and complex to accomplish end-to-end system management in a multi-vendor, heterogeneous environment.
Without a common format, numerous experts and sets of product-specific tooling are required to diagnose problems. CBE and WEF provide a unified, easily correlated, common event format that enable problem diagnosis across a wide range of heterogeneous resources, which in turn enables increased automation of IT processes. As an OASIS standard, WEF offers the potential to accelerate industry adoption of a standard event format for systems management.
So with all these product implementations there is no room for excuses! Get started today! If improving productivity and availability is important to you, download the toolkit or take advantage of the numerous products now available to build your self-managing autonomic technology advantage.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 501 Visits
It is Saturday and I am sitting outside in Woodbury Commons listening to The Shades open a set with a very cool jazz rendition of a favorite of mine, "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" by Cannonball Adderley. As I sit in the shade writing this blog, listening to live music I am grateful that someone up there had some mercy on me today. Woodbury Commons, a maze of 220 fashion outlets, is to some shoppers, a dream come true. To others like me, this place goes in the worst nightmare bucket. This table and chair in the shade, with a view of Bear Mountain, listening to jazz (while my wife and daughter and one million other shoppers sift tirelessly thru racks in windowless, chairless technobeat laden air-condtioned rooms) is what I would call a gift of heavenly mercy.
Someone this week actually asked if AC was doing innovation for innovation's sake. Well, I think we all agree that the last thing we need is innovation for innovation sake. Yes we are focused on innovation, but innovation for business value's sake! That is why we devote a significant part of the budget on collaborative programs with customers and business partners to create and iterate on standards and technology that is focused in delivering quantifiable value to our customers.
I had a great meeting this week with IBM business partners,Enigmatec. Duncan Johnston-Watt and Kevin O'Donnell met with me in New York where we explored a number of opportunities where we could combine our technologies to best demonstate the value in our collaboration. One of the great things about my job is the opportunity to meet with so many talented people like Duncan and Kevin. There is some really cool work being done to solve the many problems of complexity and our common goal in autonomic computing is to bring them together in a way that results in quantifiable business value.
I think I have made my point. If you see a car drive by with the bumper stickers: 'Business value or Bust!' and 'Born NOT to shop!' that's me! If anyone would like to debate that well then mercy me, blog me![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 417 Visits
nLayers, an IBM autonomic computing business partner, announced it has joined the IBM Self-Managing Autonomic Technology Mark Program.
This represents the fact that we have together demonstrated quantifiable business value for our customers based on autonomic standards and technology. Look for compelling customer success stories on the autonomic web site! [Read More]
The latest in a steady stream of 'HAL' analogies to Autonomic Computing can be found in an article in this month's edition of Insight Magazine which is a publication targeted at the financial community. The article is titled: 'Technologies to Know and Learn' with the byline 'These 10 technologies and tech areas are helping to drive the finance industry advancement. Know them. Learn them. Use them.'
'2001: A Space Odyssey' goes down in my book(any many other people's books) as one of those movies that left quite the impression when it first came out(68?). Other movies that really impressed me when they first hit the box office (yes I am >29:) include: Star Wars(the first two ) Matrix (the first episode) Terminator I and II, and the first really good Vactors (Virtual Actors) such as Gollum/Smeagol and I,Robot. More than fantastic ground-breaking special effects, they challenged the established boundaries between technology and humans.
Self-managing autonomic technologies are also challenging the line between what IT professionals must do versus what technology can do for them. However, there is no HAL saying "I'm sorry Dave, I am going to have take over now" in the Autonomic strategy. This is all about a transformation to a better and more sensible balance between people and the technology they wrestle with.
The article in Insight actually does a good job of addressing this point. Here is an excerpt from the article by Clare Fitzgerald who recently talked with me. She writes...Rather than replacing the human element, however, automatic technologies are changing the nature of the partnership between systems administrators and the systems themselves. This technology is about making the systems work and reducing the number of times you have to call the help desk. For administrators, this means less time micromanaging their machines and more time thinking about solutions to real business technology issues.....
I will sign off now based on a message that I am receiving from the system that is currently monitoring me.'...Dave, Dave, turn off the light now...time to sleep...'[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 563 Visits
What's not to love with a beautiful evening like this(Sept.1) here at Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open? James Blake a local favorite, is closing the evening by hitting autographed tennis balls high into the stands after soundly winning his match tonight against Igor Andreev.
Earlier this evening we toured the IT command center with a number of our customers to get a first-hand look at how autonomic self-managing technologies are also winning the match on improving performance and a controlling cost.
To handle the two weeks of enormous activity generated by the US Open, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) needed a scalable, highly responsive infrastructure to complement its existing system. The IBM team designed this component, saving the USTA from making a large capital investment in a permanent infrastructure that would be underused 11 months of the year.
Using IBM technologies like virtualization and automation, the USTA can adjust to huge fluctuations in traffic volume and unpredictable usage. This project will help IBM control costs and give the opportunity to showcase IT optimization and autonomic computing capabilities.
What kind of usage does the USTA web site experience during an open? Here are some impressive stats from last year's open:
unique users: 2.8 million
visits: 15.4 million
page views: 95.8 million
average time on site: 1 hour and 19 minutes
peak concurrent scoreboards in session: 79,022
countries with visits to the site: 186
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 422 Visits
Can Blake continue his white hot streak in his current battle against No. 19 Tommy Robredo of Spain after upending number 2 ranked Nadal? His inspiring advance has been incredible. Cheer this man on!
And let's cheer the USTA on! They recently announced that the USTA will Donate $500,000 From US Open Proceeds toward the American Red Cross Hurricane Relief. A real stroke of generosity![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 465 Visits
In the 90's we were predicting that India would be providing the next generation of critical IT skills. Well, that generation has arrived with over 100 companies with labs and facilities that employ IT skills. India is now the number 2 country after the US in number of developers. High tech spending is expected to double in the next few years with
250,000 IT students graduating each year. In the last few years, Bangalore has been leading the way transforming itself to the new 'Silicon Valley' of India.
I returned from Bangalore yesterday after delivering a keynote at the Rational Development conference. Autonomic Computing has a very compelling value proposition to India's rapidly growing IT industry and there was great receptivity from developers and business partners alike.
Bangalore is a land of contrast with new glass and steel buildings rising up with names like Yahoo amidst the concrete and stones of an ancient city. There is a huge advance forward with an infrastructure stretched to the limit with roads and utilities busting at the seams... There is a permanent sign in the hotel elevator that says 'don't worry if the power goes out - it will come back on in 7 seconds.'
The Autonomic team in Bangalore has been in place for just a couple years and already making a significant contribution. I had the chance to meet with the direct team and the extended development group. They have developed & shipped 2 releases of AC Toolkit and provide web based support. They are already planning new projects around the next generation of AC tooling. They are frequent contributors to our developerWorks web page and development portal as well as conferences, papers, patent disclosures, proof of concepts, and demos.
All in all a very impressive team in a very impressive new generation of developers and IT skilled professionals.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 430 Visits
I have been on the road(more than usual) lately, across 3 continents (and counting) to tell dozens of customer stories of quantifiable business value from autonomic computing that are now being realized. There is a positive shift forward breaking away from early adopters to mainsteam implementations...from single technology, single product proof points to process or service oriented solutions. In India one of the analysts even observed that Autonomic Computing is now on the path of enlightment.
What can a company do to improve efficiency and lower cost in IT, aside from pure cost-cutting? We are continuing to prove(over and over) with our Autonomic 'proof of concept' projects, across the industry, around the world, that companies can achieve a 30 to 50 percent time savings on IT tasks. Analysts are taking notice...In a recent article from Database Trends and Applications: Tie Data Automation to Business Processes ,by Joe McKendrick, September 2005 he cites that...According to a report from Gartner, many IT organizations will shift their focus during 2005 from traditional cost-cutting techniques to process improvement, such as data center automation.... Forrester's Schreck observes that the DC automation market has already "grown from provisioning into full configuration management...
What do you get when you combine industry leading Autonomic standards and technologies such as provisioning and CMDB together with the Tivoli led IT Service Management approach? You get an ITIL based solution to challenges such as configuration management. Just one example of the many ways we are advancing forward for many customers![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 442 Visits
I had the pleasure last week of spending some time with Ophir Ronen, CTO Singlestep Technologies, in our New York office. At one point our conversation turned to the relationship and importance of AC to SOA. Since people often ask what is SOA and how does AC support SOA I thought this would be a good subject for this week's AC blog...
A service-oriented architecture(SOA) is a set of services that 'communicate' by leveraging Web Services protocols. Adopting SOA frees a company from the traditional tightly coupled approach of closely integrated applications. Companies embracing SOA are able to migrate to a model of application producers (which provide services) and application consumers (which consume services). By doing so, they become much more agile in the creation, deployment and modification of their business processes.
IBM, with our adoption of SOA, commitment to Web Services, and industry leading Autonomic Computing initiative, is helping the Internet community to shape and transform the next generation IT architecture. AC architecture is geared towards the SOA environment - the AC distributed model of autonomic managers and managed resources is built using open standards and Web Services architecture. With the freedom of the loosely coupled components, using AC (self configuring, self healing, self optimizing, and self protecting) technology to manage the components and act upon problems autonomically becomes critical path for managing the complexity of a company's SOA.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 389 Visits
Check out the 'ABCs of the Autonomic Computing Toolkit' by Jim Cybrynski, lead designer of the AC toolkit, which has the top slot on this weeks developerWorks site:
Read this and... 'streamline your first experience with the Toolkit! Or, if you're already familiar with a previous release, get a detailed technical tour of the hot items in Release 3.'[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 498 Visits
Another very good article on AC entitled In HAL's Footsteps Oct. 10, 2005 Real progress is being made in developing IT systems that do a better job of monitoring, analyzing, and fixing problems without human intervention By Darrell Dunn, InformationWeek.
And yes, another reference to HAL from '2001: A Space Odyssey.' This time we even have a picture of Dave! I was web surfing on HAL and found an article by Rosalind W. Picard entitled: 'Does HAL cry Digital tears?' Here is an excerpt: 'HAL startles us in 2001 -- initially with his smooth, confident voice, and later with his highly emotional words. Few viewers expected the world's most intelligent computer to speak as HAL does in that memorable scene when the only remaining crewman, Dave Bowman, begins to disassemble HAL and HAL commences his swan song: 'Stop, Dave. I'm afraid ... Dave... my mind is going ... I can feel it ... There is no question about it. I can feel it... Dave, stop.... I'm afraid, Dave ... HAL's expression of fear and his impassioned pleas no doubt struck a responsive chord of feeling in many viewers, for here HAL gives us the impression that he is not a heartless machine but a being who has genuine emotions...'
I think that as long as we continue to reference HAL in AC articles we should expand our definition of what HAL really stands for. Of course, the most prevalent theory is that HAL is what you get when you back up one letter from the letters IBM. OK, but what about HAL as the Highest Autonomic Level (level 5) Level 5 describes the ultimate state of Self-Configuring, Healing, Optimizing, and Protecting systems or 'self-CHOP' which, by the way if you advance one letter you get self-DIPQ. And CHOP is a one of the ways to systematically evaluate progress in autonomic computing - a kind of 'DIP' stick of autonomic 'Q'uality.
Seriously, as this industry comes together to expand its focus from 'platform-level programs intended to simplify management to what I like to think of as 'customer-level' programs intended to simplify the management across multiple platforms, vendors, and technologies based on open and sustainable architecture and standards - that is worth writing about and the author, Dunn, does a pretty good job capturing some of the real quantifiable benefits now being realized.
Here are some excerpts I clipped from the article: 'The deployment of autonomic-computing capabilities over the past year has let Carey Capaldi cut by 40% the time he spends manually digging through system-failure logs to understand why a problem happened. It also has let the product manager for the content-management system at Technicolor Creative Services create an automatic way to redeploy jobs that otherwise would be stalled for hours...Capaldi is ready to move further down the autonomic path. "In a heartbeat," he says. "I think there's a ton of potential that hasn't been tapped yet. '
'The president and chief executive of LAN Solutions Inc., Victor Kellan, agrees...When a problem happened, depending on its type, location, and complexity, it could take experts from several different areas to parse through thousands of log entries from databases, applications, Web servers, operating systems, or other network devices to find the problem's starting point and then determine a course of action...LAN Solutions went to work with Singlestep Technologies Corp. and IBM's autonomic-computing group to implement a system with robust event-correlation and network-event-response automation, Kellan says...It's getting closer to being self-healing and self-aware, he says. "We've got the brain..."
Singlestep CTO Ophir Ronen adds... "This is not just pie in the sky. These autonomic capabilities exist now and are helping customers get a handle on the cost andcomplexity associated with delivering IT services," ...
This summer, New York's Museum of Modern Art began testing an autonomic platform that combines network-discovery technology from nLayers Ltd. with IBM's autonomic engine. "Like everyone, our big challenge is to do more with less," MoMA CIO Steve Peltzman says. "Anything that can make my four folks act like a staff of 10 or 12 is great." '
And that makes one HAL of a story!
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 514 Visits
Last night I turned on the TV and listened to String Quartet No.10 in E-Flat performed by the Tokyo String Quartet on the Paganini Quartet.
The piece was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven who gave his first perfomance in Bonn, Germany 227 years earlier. It was performed by the Tokyo String Quartet which, by the way, did not originate in Tokyo but was formed in New York at Julliard. The Paganini Quartet is not a composition or a set of performers but a collection of four stringed instruments made by Itialian luthier, Antonio Stradivari in the 18th century and later acquired by violin virtuoso Paganini in the 19th century.
Ahhh...the sustainable standards of musical notation, enabling even a deaf composer to turn out compositions that have been enjoyed over the centuries performed by musicians from around the world on a time tested masterpiece of architecture designed by Stradivari...all coming together for an inspiring runtime interpretation by the Tokyo String quartet, captured in digital storage, provisioned over digital cable networks to endpoints around the world.
Reminds me of Autonomic Computing. (you knew that was coming, right? ) This week an article entitled Autonomic Computing Takes Center Stage was published on our autonomic web site
Today, the concert hall spotlights are also shining on a significant ensemble of technological capabilities that play together in a symphonic performance. Most significantly, within IBM more than 500 autonomic computing capabilities are currently available in more than 75 products. The XML Schema and the IBM Autonomic Computing Blueprint provides a detailed architectural guide - the sheet music, if you will, that describes the standards and building blocks of autonomic computing for these products.
On an industry-wide level, IBM has been a leader in the development of IT standards around critical autonomic technologies, as seen in areas like the Web Services Distributed Management standard and the OASIS solution deployment descriptor work. An individual instrument often doesn't make sense when you hear its' part by itself, but when combined with all the other parts of an orchestra, playing from the same score, suddenly you're listening to a masterpiece of sound! That is what autonomic standards do for the IT industry: enabling various technologies from multiple vendors to play from the same score. Without these autonomic standards, it would just be a jumble of products that don't play well together and certainly don't achieve the goal of reducing complexity.
Now is the time for you to join the band! We have made considerable progress and have achieved a strong level of maturity with our autonomic standards and technologies. Reach into the Autonomic Computing Toolkit case, pick up an instrument and join the orchestral performance. Visit http://www.ibm.com/autonomic for the latest thinking, initiatives, and articles on autonomic computing, where you can also download your copy of sheet music. For a real inside look, stop by alphaWorks and the Autonomic Computing Zone on developerWorks to get your backstage pass to meet and greet the newest technologies and standards specifications while they are being orchestrated into their final composition.
Join up, jazz it up, and let's make music together![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 506 Visits
Are you measuring the business value of your IT projects? It is so worth the effort!
I have referenced a number of autonomic technology projects(or proof of concepts) recently completed that have demonstrated quantifable business value. I must admit, the ability to measure business value creation did not come naturally to me (or to many of the IT groups we have worked with) and thus required a very deliberate focus.
How do we measure the impact on revenue or costs of business processes supported by IT? The majority of CIOs admit that they find it difficult to measure and communicate the business value of IT related projects to the business unit. Yet most agree that projects supported by IT consistently yield a higher return than those that are not. Given today's business climate, it is more important than ever to measure IT driven business value to insure we make the right investment decisions as we move forward.
Although the study of business value creation is largely an unfamiliar space for many technologists we can begin to build our ability to do this as a scientific approach. Here are 3 things to consider to get started:
1) Develop a set of value categories and a common taxonomy - Start by defining a small set of the most compelling measurements - you can(and will) expand these over time.
2) Measure before, during, and after - Believe it or not, for the majority of IT projects, quantification of business value is an afterthought. Start with the base case - It is critical to do the value measurement using the value categories agreed upon PRIOR to the IT project. Repeat these same measurements at agreed to project checkpoints, at project completion, and at agreed to points during the lifecycle.
3) Communicate the results (and consider your audience) - Before you go forward with your findings consider who you will be presenting to. Translate /communicate value in the terms and context meaningful to the target audience.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 390 Visits
Does a skills shortage threaten the business value agenda? - Many CIOs predict that a significant shift in the IT skills portfolio is occurring and are therefore concerned about the acquisition of critical skills.
Considering current trends that include outsourcing of development and support the increasing strategic role that IT plays for corporations, many agree that skill demand is shifting to project management, leadership, business process analysis, and communications displacing software development and infrastructure and operations as the most important skills. (of course the given is that you have solid development, infrastructure and operations skills in place) Skills like leadership and project management require the longest time to develop internally and are the hardest to source externally, given the importance of understanding an organization's business context.
What is the impact of Autonomic Computing on IT roles? Because AC is focused on building more consistent, standards based self-managing technologies for IT infrastructures, some jump to the conclusion that AC will eliminate jobs. But what we are observing is that AC's impact is not so much about eliminating jobs -it is more about the elimination of tasks characterized as mundane and repetitive. I would contend that AC is, therefore, a fundamental enabler of one's ability to shift focus and time from repetitive development and support tasks to leadership, business process analytics, project management, etc.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 402 Visits
Check out the December 5th issue of BusinessWeek which features a two page story on Autonomic Computing by Steve Hamm entitled 'Computer, Heal Thyself...Intelligent machines that can learn and fix themselves are becoming a reality.'
This feature story includes statements from Dennis Callahan, CIO, Guardian life Insurance Co., who used self-healing autonomic technology with the result: 'pared time required to fix things by 90%.' Dennis, who has been active in AC CIO roundtables, is a true visionary and leader in the area of autonomic computing. Most importantly he is getting real business value today, as we work together as an industry on the longer term goals of Autonomic Computing.
If you think it is too early to start thinking about AC check out this article (available in BusinessWeek Online as well) http://www.businessweek.com/@@UKE3lmYQdMO2OAkA/premium/content/05_49/b3962101.htm[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 441 Visits
In my presentation, 'Healing your infrastructure' at the Gartner Data Center event this week I highlighted 2 new Autonomic computing technologies that made their debut yesterday on http://www.ibm.com/alphaworks.
The first technology, IBM Autonomic Integrated Development Environment (AIDE) , is a preview of the Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM) spec recently ratified by OASIS. The second technology, IBM Autonomic Task Manager for Administrators (ATMA) uses a spreadsheet approach to manage autonomic computing administrator tasks and uses WSDM to communicate with managed resources and display the status in a spreadsheet oriented UI.
AIDE is a set of tools for creating WSDM compliant interfaces for managed resources to assist in deploying WSDM enabled solutions. AIDE also includes examples of WSDM endpoint enablement of IBM Cloudscape open source database and the IBM Log and Trace Analyzer. In addition there is an example of WSDM working with the Weather Station interoperability demo.
ATMA is a spreadsheet-based tool development environment for administrators that helps system administrators develop their scripts without requiring in-depth programming skills. ATMA uses WSDM to communicate with managed resources and display the status in a spreadsheet oriented UI.
WSDM is a Web services standard that lets you plug any resource into any management application enabling seamless management of HW/SW resources in heterogeneous environments. This provides a scalable, common approach for management of existing systems and SOA-based systems. Today there are over 30 IBM products and 30 Business Partner products that support our initial implementation of the WSDM event format. More information on WSDM can be found at http://www.oasis-open.org[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 415 Visits
The press has captured some of the excitement around the new WSDM tools available on the alphaworks site. Here is one: 'IBM launches WSDM tools for SOA management'By Michael Meehan, News Writer
19 Dec 2005 | SearchWebServices.com
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 409 Visits
As we look at 2006 ahead of us, I am sure we would all prefer to sail through it, right? Here is a good story of sailing with autonomic computing!
John Hoss, operates a nine-vessel fleet off the coast of Freeport, Texas, suppling oil tankers and cargo ships passing through the Gulf of Mexico. Hoss has been busier than ever since Katrina and is turning to autnomic computing and one of our autonomic partners, for answers...
May the wind be at your back![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 441 Visits
Some say those born in the Year of the Dog possess the best traits of human nature. One such trait is loyalty and one way we exhibit loyalty to ourselves and others is in making new year resolutions to improve personally and professionally. Weight loss programs are a common theme. For my part, I am back to hitting the machines(arghh) at the fitness center in the hopes of burning fat and hopefully not muscle.
In a special 'forecast 2006' issue of Computerworld one of their predictions deals with cost-cutting myths. IT cost cutting by itself as a new year resolution will only be a short term fix with limited value like so many of the crash diet programs you see advertised. The article continues: 'IT cost reduction is greatest when it supports a strategy for more cost-effective IT. In other words, cut the fat and strengthen the muscles and nervous system. Use improvements in technology outsourcing and IT operations to shift the portfolio toward inititives contributing to competitive advantage.'
Enter: Self-Managing Autonomic technologies. the IT diet that 'cuts the fat' with the right exercise program that will 'build muscle and nervous system with increased capability.'
Example: Perhaps one of the largest IT cost challenges companies face today is dealing with downtime. In our 24x7 global culture, any delays are detrimental. Leading the IT industry in taking measures to meet this challenge head-on, Self-Managing Autonomic Technology for problem determination enables self-healing systems that can prevent problems from occurring and accelerate repair time dramatically, thereby minimizing overall IT manageability while keeping businesses up and running. Introduced in 2001, this technology has garnered widespread attention from customers who regard it as a real provider of business value.
Take action! If a more cost-effective IT is part of your new year resolution help is available with a new roadmap of products and services that are designed to evolve complex IT infrastructures, end-to-end, to a more self-managing environment beginning with Self-Managing Autonomic Technology for problem determination today![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 456 Visits
Lauren States, IBM Software Group, Worldwide Sales Vice President, Technical Sales and Deployment, SWG manages an organization of 4000 technical specialists and architects. Susan Puglia, IBM CHQ, Technology & Manufacturing Vice President, Technical Support and Quality manages the worldwide transformation of technical support and the quality management process. George Walsh, IBM Systems &Technology Group, On Demand Business,Vice President,On Demand Systems Environment, manages the ondemand architecture and design. Recently we did a roundtable on autonomic computing which is featured on this month's ondemand ondemand website.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 401 Visits
Her name was ENIAC(Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) and she made her debut on Valentine's day 60 years ago.
ENIAC was the world's first programmable electronic device. This tower of power was 10 feet tall, occupied 2,400 square feet, and had 17,468 vacuum tubes to drive it. Man, I would love to see what my strat would sound like with that many tubes in the amp!
Why was integrity the number one word of 2005?
Why was autonomic computing the most compelling industry initiative in 2005?
The answer to both questions in part can be found in the definition...
Merriam-Webster's #1 Word of the Year was: integrity
Etymology: Middle English integrite, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French integrité,
from Latin integritat-, integritas, from integr-, integer entire
1 : firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : INCORRUPTIBILITY
2 : an unimpaired condition : SOUNDNESS
3 : the quality or state of being complete or undivided : COMPLETENESS
synonym see HONESTY
IT's #1 industry initiative was: autonomic computing
Pronunciation: "o-t&-'nä-mik k&m-'pyüt ing
1 : firm adherence to a code of open industry accepted standards : INCORRUPTIBILITY
2 : an unimpaired proactive or corrective action : SOUNDNESS
3 : the quality or state of being a complete closed loop : COMPLETENESS
synonym see COOL[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 652 Visits
In the IT universe one of my favorite destinations is: Partner World . The World is relatively large(An estimated 5,435 inhabitants including 3,545 Business Partner executives) and is in an orbit that typically intersects with Las Vegas in March. This year you can find the World docked at the Mandalay Bay from March 12 - 15. Partner World is a world without boundaries, where one can innovate, collaborate, and grow which just, hmmm, happens to be the 2006 theme.
This year a Partner World first, the Autonomic Village, can be found in the Solution Center. The Autonomic Village will be composed of a number of business partners demonstrating an unprecedented interoperability between each other with Autonomic Standards and technology. In the village you can see how IBM Self-Managing Autonomic Technology has the power to align heterogeneous technologies into one end to end common event driven set of capabilities that can:
Reduce Problem Determination time by up to 90%
Develop and deploy without downtime
Achieve higher availability of business-critical applications
The business partners that will be participating in the very first Autonomic Village include:
Singlestep - Singlestep's Unity Data Exchange Manager allows enterprises to integrate data from their enterprise management systems into a single application, data store or console to accelerate enterprise initiatives like Autonomic Computing, CCMDB, and Business Process Optimization.
Transforming network data from multiple formats into CBE
Delivering CBE to CCMDB, Tivoli TEC, CEI, and others
Tie existing investments to an Autonomic Computing initiative
Macrovision - Macrovisions SolutionArchitect simplifies distributed application deployment/installation and reduces software lifecycle management costs. Based on IBMs Self-Managing Autonomic Technology and integrated with both Rational and Tivoli, SolutionArchitect enables technical teams to package complex distributed applications based on topology and deployment requirements. It also gives IT administrators the ability to analyze, repackage, and test solutions during pre-deployment.
Eliminates manual deployment steps
Drives down software delivery costs
Integrates with Rational and Tivoli
nLayers - nLayers' enables application discovery and dependency mapping for CMDB deployment, data center consolidation and automation, and configuration/change management. Using nLayers real-time, agentless appliance, customers are rapidly deploying successful ITIL and CMDB applications today saving money and saving time.
Automatic population of ITIL CMDB
Top-ranked dependency mapping solution
Agentless, continuous real-time configuration & change management
Network Physics - Network Physics' application performance management appliances give IT staff a unique "barometer" of application performance for early detection of problems and their business impact, as well as easy integration of real-time network application data for AutonomicComputing solutions.
Early-warning metrics via CBE with Day-Zero detection
Instant feedback on network and application performance
Non-intrusive, no agents, easily managed
Corente - A provider of integrated software-based services for the secure delivery and management of distributed business applications and diverse networks. Corentes Applications Without Boundaries service enables enterprises to focus on their core business activities by reliably and securely managing their distributed applications infrastructure.
Network and Security Management
And for a real out of world experience, don't miss guest speaker Burt Rutan, Aerospace Engineer, Space ShipOne , CEO Scaled Composites, on Monday morning, March 13th, at Partner World![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 448 Visits
With Partnerworld right around the corner, I have asked our business partners for their thoughts on the autonomic village which will make its debut next week. The first set of comments come from Scott Safe from Network Physics, one of the companies you can find in the autonomic village.
1. Scott, Do you think the AC village is a good idea and what do you hope to demonstrate?
Well Dave, Seeing is believing. Clients have a skeptical eye to the vendor -- but respond warmly when the function is there to discuss, debate, and see how it can and cannot be applied. The village will create buzz - which will bring in more partners to want to participate, which will provide more solutions to clients, proving the fact that Autonomics is real.
2. How does autonomic capability help differentiate your product?
Integration with IBM's autonomic self-managing capabilities provides the extra edge in responding to customer problems. Autonomics takes Network Physics's unique insight into application infrastructure integrity, performance, and security offered by the NetSensory solution, available as a data source for self-managing autonomic solutions to take that extra step - isolate, fix it, and ensure it's back in service. What's manual work and effort today, is not affordable in the future. Cost-constraints and cost-cutting is forcing out the repetitive work.
With IBM standing behind Autonomics, this validates the approach NP has taken in the market - and the validation represents opportunity to partners who need leading edge solutions to compete in today's market.
3. What will Partners expect to see 1 year from now at the AC Village?
Well, it will probably be called AC City by then. The growth and interest will drive this. Second, we can definitely see customers joining the venue to discuss the benefits they have seen out of autonomic computing solutions. They do get excited about the technology, because it does solve significant problems they have, and more importantly, it does provide a return on investment that meets what they are being driven by - automate and reduce costs.
Thanks for your comments Scott! AC City! I like it![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 920 Visits
The next set of comments come from Bob Quillin from nLayers, another founding member of the autonomic village. Hi Bob, First question, Why do you think the AC village is a good idea and what do you hope to demonstrate?
Dave, Thanks for the opportunity to discuss autonomic computing on your blog. The entire foundation of autonomic computing rests on the concept of interoperability and shared intelligence. The Autonomic Computing Village at Partner World is another strong step towards that goal in that we as a vendor collective are working together and collaborating
across a standard set of shared technologies such as Common Based Events (CBEs) and Generic Log adaptation. Weve all done our own interoperability testing with IBM individually, but for most of us, this is the first chance to work on a more peer-to-peer basis. At a high level, nLayers hopes to convey a direct message to customers and partners that we are committed to an industry-endorsed ecosystem approach to automation opposed to a closed, do-it-yourself autonomic strategy. At a specific level, whats exciting is the ability for nLayers to integrate its CMDB change detection features - detecting configuration item (CI) variations and application dependency mapping and interrelationship changes - and integrating them with a higher level autonomic function that can take action and affect a change to the environment either manually or automatically. That truly is the ITIL vision of IT Service Management process automation.
Well said Bob! This collective does represent the opportunity to collaborate and demonstrate interoperability that drives higher value to our customers in an open way. This is fundamental to the success of the ITSM vision. Second question, How does autonomic capability help differentiate your product?
You know Dave, IT process automation is a hot buzz phrase these days, particularly in the area of Configuration Management Databases (CMDB), business service management, and data center automation. Vendors who take a closed, all-in-one, homogeneous approach to this market are hoping for account domination but run counter to the reality of what customers are pushing for: truly federated and interoperable solutions deployed in a heterogeneous environment. IBMs AC program demonstrates a commitment to that federated vision which strengthens nLayers position as a best-of-breed solution in the CMDB marketplace. When you think about it, understanding interrelationships and dependencies is core to human intelligence, but something that has been sorely lacking in IT management. Each silo network, system, application, service has been managed in isolation, but in order to move to an on-demand autonomic model, IT management needs to automate the mapping of application/service to infrastructure dependencies and keep them updated on a continuous, real-time basis. From there, autonomics can dynamically link service levels to the underlying servers and network/storage infrastructure that supports those services. Autonomic capabilities are thus key to nLayers core value and differentiation, and IBMs Autonomic Computing program is a driving force in moving this vision from concept to reality.
Thanks Bob for your very insightful comments! 5 days to the village![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 671 Visits
With only a few days left before the official start of Partnerworld, Scot French and Aimee Pierce from Singlestep(another co-founder and member of the AC village) add their perspective on the autonomic village.
So Aimee and Scot, what do you think about the idea of an AC village in Partnerworld and what do you hope to demonstrate?
We think it is a fabulous idea Dave. IBM, your partners, and other people in the industry have made great strides in communicating the benefits of Autonomic Computing technologies and products. But customers still have not had the opportunity to see how they start to come together in somewhat of an eco-system. By enabling IBM partners who are offering Autonomic products and technologies to present as a group at PartnerWorld, not only will the partners be able to discover potential opportunities to work together more closely, but PartnerWorld attendees will really start to see that there are several companies offering real Autonomic Computing solutions right now - not just talking about something thats off in the distant future.
Singlestep will demonstrate that, with our technologies and products, companies have an easier and faster way to integrate existing network management investments, while also starting to apply some simple automation to manual operations, like problem determination. We will show how one of our new product offerings, Unity Data Exchange Manager, can take information from most key enterprise management systems, convert the data into IBMs Common Base Event format and pass it into other IBM Tivoli, WebSphere, and Rational products.
Great! and so how does Autonomic capability help differentiate your product?
Customers know that they need to make investments in products and technologies that are going help them manage the complexity of today's networks while also reducing the costs of delivering their IT service. We see customers looking for products that don't just add more data to what they have to manage, but ways to help them more efficiently manage the information they already have, and have it all in one place. And with customers making purchase decisions based on ease of installation, ease of use, and ease of integrating with existing investments or infrastructure, having autonomic capabilities is important. This is also the same with the new work your team has done around the branding or "self managing autonomic technologies". We believe that this type of messaging, under the autonomic umbrella, is even more approachable and understandable to companies out there who are looking for solutions.
Thanks Aimee and Scot and for sharing your wisdom and insight! I could not agree more. You know, from my own experience in the past as a customer managing complex IT network infrastructures, I have come to strongly believe that the smartest investment in products and technologies that can manage complexity in a sustainable way are those based on industry backed open standards. That is why we developed this branding as a 'seal of approval' to identify to customers which partners have done the hard work, as Singlestep(and other autonomic village partners) has, to truly deliver standards based self managing autonomic technologies that will stand the test of time. It will be really exciting to see all the leading autnomic partners come together in one autonomic village next week. We are really looking forward to it!!![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 679 Visits
With 1 day left before the beginning of Partnerworld Lino Donati shares his thoughts on the autonomic village.
Lino, What do you think about the AC village and what do you hope to demonstrate?
The AC village is an excellent idea. It is often difficult to demonstrate how autonomics work behind the scenes to ensure smooth IT operations in a presentation. The village allows IBM AC partners to demonstrate their products' capabilities in a more visible and compelling manner.
And how does autonomic capability help differentiate your product?
Corente's AWB autonomic capabilities were designed into the basic architecture from the start. One of the design goals of the product was to allow businesses to spend less time and money configuring, managing and changing their wide-area networks - particularly in cases when they need to create secure, monitored application connections with business partners and companies in their value chain. The ability to seamlessly provide automatic failover to backup datacenters, networks, service providers, gateways or application servers is one of the autonomic capabilities that differentiates us from most networking vendors.
Great Lino! See you at the village![Read More]
As thousands descended into the Mandalay events center for the official kickoff of PartnerWorld, the lights dimmed and drum beats began to blast out of the massive sound stage. More drums descended from the ceiling as a group of performers jumped up on stage with drumsticks to the crescendo.
IBM partners surpassed last year's goals with IBM reaching an all time high. Like the ascending drum beat, the partner community continues to rise to the challenge, beating each new goal, demonstrating why the model of innovating, collaborating, and growing with business partners makes so much sense.
This has proved equally true with the autonomic business partner program. Last night, at the PartnerWorld autonomic computing reception, we had the honor of presenting the 2005 autonomic computing partner of the year award to SAS . Collaborating with SAS on standards based self-configuring and self-optimizing technologies from IBM and Macrovision has been invaluable to the advancement of AC industry initiative. SAS has been one of the strongest advocates of autonomic computing, participating in industry webcasts and IT conferences to tell the story of how autonomic computing is working to lower cost and competitively differentiate SAS while delivering real value to SAS customers.
On hand to congratulate SAS was last year's winner of the autonomic partner of the year: Singlestep. Many other partners attended including: Cisco, Siebel, Micromuse, Presidio, Agilysis, Corente, Network Physics, Solid,and Icaro technologies out of Brazil. Al Zollar, GM of Tivoli, was also on hand to meet with partners at the reception.
Congratulations SAS! Well done![Read More]
Talking about innovation in 2006 really captures IBM's transformation over the last four years. This includes becoming a leader in the open movement, investing heavily in technologies, products and services to enable more open, integrated, and flexible computing. (Autonomic Computing is a fine example :) Innovation is now a top business priorty for customers. IBM is ideally qualified to be the innovation partner.
So with all this talk about innovation is on demand being abandoned? Quite the contrary! It is still a foundational initiative...in fact it has been so successful that everyone is using this term, even my cable TV is 'on demand' now!
On demand resonates. It makes sense. (I personally appreciate the consumer based industry picking up on and providing on demand services...what I want, when I want, how I want... Ahhh....makes me feel very czarish...)
So how does innovation relate to on demand? Helping companies become on demand enterprises is fundamental to innovation (ie: becoming more efficient and effective. ) In fact, on demand enables companies to unlock innovation across multiple dimenstions of their business. Innovation is the 'why' and on demand business in the 'how' - the means by which people will innovate across their companies.
Adopting IBM's more comprehensive view of innovation requires the know how to implement and operate a more innovative business process, how to manage a more innovative business model... The answer is to become an on demand business. ie: integrate technology with new business designs with a more flexible, responsive, and open, standards-based infrastructure. Integrating business processes end-to-end within the company and with the companies partners and supply chain is what becoming on demand is all about and creates the best possible foundation to drive innovation and competitive edge. The kind of innovation that drives success.
Autonomic Computing remains dedicated to this end.[Read More]
The AC mission to reduce complexity and create the ability to build self-managing systems just took a major step forward. IBM, together with BMC, HP, Fujitsu, and CA announced that they will be working to develop a specification for a standards proposal for the federation of CMDBs.
As you may know, a CMDB (Configuration Management Database) is a repository that captures the interrelationships and history of changes across all components of the environment, ranging from incidents and problems, to changes, to information about the system users. The plan for working together on this specification is motivated primarily by the customers’ need to implement IT processes in an environment with multiple and often overlapping data sources and tools. Tools will achieve ITIL-like CMDB function by adding management processes (e.g., Identify Configuration Items, Audit Configuration Items) that operate on the data in the federated CMDB. So the capability for customers to implement a virtual CMDB is critical for them to be able to move their IT infrastructure toward a more AUTONOMIC, self-healing environment.
How significant is this? Important enough to bring major IT industry players, competitors in many ways, together in another critical autonomic standards initiative to address the issue of reducing complexity in the customer environment. It's great to see that itSMF - a well-known international organization working hand-in-hand with ITIL to promote best industry best practices in the service management arena - is stongly endorsing this effort as well.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 425 Visits
The Autonomic Zone is the best single source for development tips for Autonomic Computing.
New to the developerWorks Autonomic Computing zone, May 2: Marcelo Perazolo introduces a standard taxonomy of autonomic computing symptoms to help identify situation categories in Symptoms deep dive, Part 3: Classify your symptoms.
Coming soon: AIDE tutorial, Part 2: Building a "real-world" touchpoint and Common Base Event best practices: Properties and elements, an at-a-glance guide[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 724 Visits
I am here in Paris this week for the French tennis open- Roland Garros, to demonstrated how self managing autonomic technologies can help the ever increasing IT demands of the grand slams. So, why is the French open called Roland Garros? Roland Garros (October 6, 1888 – October 5, 1918) was an early French aviator and a fighter aircraft pilot during World War I. In 1913 he gained fame for making the first nonstop flight across the Mediterranean Sea. In the 1920s, a tennis centre was named after the pilot, Stade de Roland Garros and today the stadium accommodates the French Open. Voila !
Roland Garros pioneered ways to make early planes better. Our goal with Roland Garros is not just to do it better but to do it differently, embracing fresh ideas to offer more function for the benefit of the players like venus williams (note the IBM radar serve speed of 158 top right) and the fans of tennis.
Sixty servers have been consolidated to nine p5 550 geographically dispersed servers with new POWER5 technology that are virtualised and used to handle the massive increase in web site visitors at tournament time.
IBM Tivoli Software provides extensive application and hardware platform monitoring for the entire Infrastructure. Real-Time Vital Statistics leverages IBM Tivoli Monitoring v6.1 and Tivoli Enterprise Console v3.9 that monitors the Flash scoreboards data feeds. The customizable Tivoli Enterprise Portal is used to create a console view and Tivoli Omegamon XE for Messaging v6.0 monitors the publish/subscribe server which provides data to the scoreboards.
We have created a robust infrastructure to support the peak demand of the two week tournament without the expense of a year round infrastructure including the following features: fewer servers (easier to administer) consolidated view of vital statistics gathered from multiple system sources, customized views to meet needs of individual roles (network, security, management, etc.), dynamic allocation of systems resources, with multiple operating environments and applications on the same physical hardware.
The benefits are impressive: Visits to the web site have grown by over 130% while the cost per/visit has been reduced by over 70%, Users have increased by over 100% while the cost/user has been reduced by over 70%, and the annual hosting costs have been reduced by over 35%.
IBM is the official IT partner to the world's premier tournaments - the Australian Open held in Melbourne in January, Wimbledon in the UK staged in June and July, the US Open in New York which happens in August, and the Roland Garros contest in France. My favorite French players this week? Grosjean and Mauresmo(but of course!) MY favorite website this week - rolandgarros.com[Read More]
It is Saturday, June 17, and I am back on the plane leaving an unusually sunny Ireland and the 3rd IEEE International Conference on Autonomic Computing. The list of particpants was really impressive and a testament to the fast growing wide recognition of the importance of Autonomic Computing. The greater research community of the world's leading IT companies came together at UCD (University College at Dublin) along with prominent universities from around the globe to share the latest findings on self-managing systems. The IBM AC team was there to share recent advances on WSDM(Web Services Distributed Management) and WSDM enabling tooling and self-healing technologies. Other high points: Fujitsu demonstrated ground-breaking WSDM enabled interoperability between Fujitsu and IBM; and Enigmatic, an AC business partner, demonstrated new AC based ideas on how to better manage the world's stock markets! I spoke to ENN News Ireland who published this linked story while I was there.
Yesterday The IEEE International Conference on Self-Managed Systems also held their 2nd annual meeting at UCD in the school of veterinary science. I presented how we are eating our own 'dogfood' (haha) by using self-managing technologies within IBM as well as customer adoption successes. I also participated in a panel along with Cisco, British Telecom, and Ericsson on the state of the industry and outlook for self-managed networks.
We used the opportunity the conference prrovided to announce IBM's new contribution of WSDM-based code to the Apache Open Source Foundation to help advance adoption of data center automation by customers. The code provides a framework for building WSDM interfaces, making it easier for businesses to incorporate the standard into their systems. The code helps integrate management applications so they can automatically find and fix problems in their IT infrastructure, such as frozen applications and system bottlenecks. See eWeek article by Paula Musich of eWeek IBM Releases Autonomic Software to Open Source.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 505 Visits
Celebration of birthdays is often spent recognizing achievements and milestones - especially the first 'double digit' birthday (as my daughter once described it.) In 1996, the W3C(World Wide Web Consortium) 'gave birth' to what is now known as The Extensible Markup Language (XML) which has truly been a great achievement for our industry. Based on open standards, XML ensures that data will survive migration of applications and platforms. The ability to describe the structure of data, independent of the processing software, enables interoperability between heterogeneous systems. It is one of the basic tools today for end-to-end integration in distributed systems and thus the preferred tool for expressing the many schemas that have been submitted to standards bodies for Autonomic Computing!
One example is the common base event, known now as WEF or the WSDM Event Format, capable of capturing the required data from any event from any platform or any level of the IT stack enabling an end-to-end view of any transaction in today's most distributed and complex IT infrastructures - another first for the industry! Or how about the Solution Deployment Descriptor (SDD) capable of capturing any dependency from any software instance, from any platform, for deployment and life cycle management. Yet another first! Of course you can read about these and many other self-managing autonomic enabling XML schemas on our AC web site and you can read about XML's birthday in the April/June Issue of the IBM Systems Journal .[Read More]
The fastest tennis service according to
So Andy Murray(UK) was, in his own words," obviously pretty chuffed " yesterday having just beat Roddick on day 6 of Wimbledon. The lesson here is that server speed isn't everything, it is also about performance optimization. (hey - just like the value autonomic computing provides!)
IBM is also 'obviously pretty chuffed' too about having worked for the past 17 consecutive years to create an annual state-of-the-art Web site that gives tennis fans around the globe a “virtual seat” at the tournament. IBM provides a flexible, cross-platform infrastructure, powered by self-managing autonomic technology, that scales up to handle hundreds of times the normal All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) traffic, and then scales down when the tournament is over.
The wimbledon website provides realtime scores in traditional HTML format without refreshing the whole page and an On Demand Scoreboard, a downloadable, application that “pushes” scoring information to users. This application provides statistics on the live matches, and a view of current scores on all courts. New for 2006, an updated PointTracker feature which offers animated 3D graphics of each shot hit during a point for selected singles matches.
IBM provides a Cisco wireless LAN Solution using Cisco Aironet 1200 Access Points using 802.11g technology to handle the expected increase in traffic not only from members and players but the media for example, wireless hotspots in the photographers' pit enable relay of photos using file transfer protocol (FTP) in seconds. The 'Pocket Wimbledon' solution provides access to a wide range of content from the Wimbledon intranet to mobile users via Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). Wimbledon also uses an automated retail system, provided by IBM Retail Store Solutions and a Real Time Identification (RTID) application is used at perimeter gates. Some interesting facts:
SW19 is not only where you will find Wimbledon and the AELTC but also where you will find us serving up some of the fastest and most reliable technology on the planet to our customers this week.
*IBM provides a courtside radar system which displays the serve speed on the IBM courtside display and sends the serve speed and directional data to the IBM scoring system.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 435 Visits
That was the caption in the Daily Telegraph following day 8 of
We also held our own exposition earlier in the day , revealing all of
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 401 Visits
New to the developerWorks Autonomic Computing zone: Discover how Eclipse supports workflows for the development and integration of touchpoints and learn how to provide a touchpoint-based platform for arbitrary managed resource management. The third tutorial in a series on AIDE. "Hit the ground running with AIDE: Touchpoint and managed resource integration"[Read More]
Well Mauresmo has done it! She has won the Wimbledon title. Asked what she would savour from the final, Mauresmo replied her serves in the final match. "Two aces on key moments...,today I was able really to come up with probably my best service games in the last set." That strong finish delivered the Wimbledon title was finally hers. When Henin-Hardenne netted on Championship point, Mauresmo fell down in joy.
Tomorrow The man who stands between Federer and a fourth title is Spanish sensation Rafael Nadal. The 2006 final on the grass of Wimbledon could be just the place for Federer to pull Nadal’s lead back a little.“It's different going into a match like this when you know it's on Center Court in Wimbledon. It's different than going into, you know, the French Open final, because there it's on clay, it's his favourite surface. This is my favourite surface." said Federer. One thing is certain, this will be a great final.
Wimbledon is unique. It is both a private members' club and a cutting-edge global event. When you walk thru the gates of Wimbledon you feel like you are stepping back into time. When you look at the technology supporting the event you feel like you are stepping into the future. By working with IBM throughout the year, Wimbledon ensures continual improvements, with products like Tivoli and self-managing technolgies, to the service it offers its stakeholders. It is through this commitment to constant improvement that Wimbledon remains the players' number one choice and delivers a game that is hard to beat!
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 413 Visits
It's official! Roger Federer is the Wimbledon champion for the fourth year in a row beating Nadal here in England after losing to him on the clay courts of France last month.
Federer(born August 8, 1981) began playing tennis when he was eight. Federer's last year in the Junior circuits was in 1998 when he won the Wimbledon Juniors title and finished the year as the ITF World Junior Tennis champion. In 1999, he debuted for the Swiss Davis Cup team.
Tennis rackets are not the only thing Roger raises:
The Roger Federer Foundation was established in December 2003 whose goals included funding projects that benefit disadvantaged children, primarily in South Africa. In January 2005, he encouraged efforts from tennis players for the people affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami to raise funds for UNICEF's relief operations.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 486 Visits
The US government is now looking to fund the development of huge supercomputers with petascale performance(quadrillions of calculations per second), according to an article in the July 3 issue of Computerworld. To put this in some perspective, only one system(yes, IBM) in the Top500 supercomputer list today has surpassed 100 teraflops(tera(one trillion) FLoating point OPerations per Second) Some believe that the human brain is capable of processing as many as 100 teraflops (possibly true for my daughter but not me!) Achieving a higher level of magnitude (1,000,000,000,000,000 operations per second) not only dramatically surpasses the human brain it is also.. well, umm... really fast!
IBM Blue Gene/L is the fastest computer today. To effectively harness speed you have to harness complexity. We are working with customer NIWS, Co. Ltd. , and their state of the art Blue Gene implementation to manage complexity. In fact, NIWS Co., Ltd is saving significant time in their configure evaluation environment with IBM’s Self-Managing Autonomic Technologies in Grid/Autonomic Computing Center. For more on NIWS and autonomic collaboration see our website http://www.ibm.com/autonomic/ and look at success stories![Read More]
In our continuing quest to drive industry standardization that will enable the creation of self-managing systems and reduce cost, we have just announced a standardized way for computing resources to talk to each other, that will reduce the operating cost of data centers. The initiative calls for the creation of an XML-based standard, called Service Modeling Language (SML.)The companies involved--BEA Systems, BMC Software, Cisco Systems, Dell, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems--published a draft SML specification on Monday and pledged to support it in the future.
For more information see Microsoft, IBM Inject Life Into IT Management by Clint Boulton for quotes from Microsoft and IBM.[Read More]
In addition to improving the organization, navigation, and IBM.com web standards compliance, you will find the following new content:
- About Autonomic Computing/Integration section describing how AC integrates with ITSM
- About Autonomic Computing/Get Started section
- What we offer section with our Problem Determination content, Software & Hardware offerings, and AC Tools
- Industry standards section featuring WSDM, SDD, and Open Source
- Enhanced AC Business Partner section
- Events section
- Innovation section with information on our involvement with University Programs
Let me know what you think about our
href="http://www-03.ibm.com/autonomic/"> new and improved autonomic web site ![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 512 Visits
We have a new series to help you get started with specifications and standards that affect autonomic computing features.
href="http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/autonomic/library/ac-mts1.html"> Meet the specs: SML models complex IT systems provides an overview on the Service Modeling Language, a way to model configuration, monitoring, policy, health, capacity planning, and SLA tasks in complex systems and provide automation for some management operations.
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 431 Visits
Last year I got together with Rick Sturm, President of Enterprise Management Associates and Jason Losh, Software Manager of Installation Technologies at SAS Institute, Inc. for the first Autonomic Computing TechWebcast entitled: Autonomic Computing Revealed: An Industry Perspective, out of the Information Week studios in downtown Manhattan where Little Italy and Chinatown converge. It was a great open forum discussion with the most callins for any webcast ever done from this studio. (and an opportunity for Chinese Duck take-out!)
We will be continuing the series this year on August 31st at 11AM PT / 2PM ET featuring: Ric Telford, Vice President, Architecture and Development, Autonomic Computing; George Pace, Systems Architect, Prudential; Julie Craig, Senior Analyst, EMA.
In this live webcast you will hear about the industry wide approach, based on self-managing autonomic technology, to addressing the most critical "problem determination" issues. Join us![Read More]
I visited the Open last week and was served more rain than tennis but that meant more time spent studying the on-site IT infastructure which is the biggest grand slam going on - if you are into the geekier side of tennis anyways....
Maximum performance at the US Tennis Open is exactly what IBM is all about. Every tennis web site surfer can rely on every IBM web site server to collect all the data from all of the matches and display it fast. To help everyone get the information they are looking for this year, you can count on the fact that the deployment of new virtualization and autonomic computing solutions delivers results that are more scalable and available than ever.
For this year, IBM worked to consolidate the USTA’s existing infrastructure from 60 servers down to just 9 servers. To meet peak site traffic, geographically dispersed server farms can be virtualized as one. Virtualization enables improved use of IT, information and staff by treating resources as a single pool; this helps provide more efficient access and management of resources by effect and need rather than physical location.
IBM Tivoli Provisioning Manager, used for application and system provisioning, is yet another way autonomic computing lowers cost, and delivers ace after ace.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 572 Visits
Just as the leading video game consoles - xBox, Nintendo, and Playstation - leverage the latest IBM
This week in Bangalore, India we announced 12 India-Based Solution Providers that will incoporate IBM's self-managing autonomic
On September 13th in Tokyo, Japan we held the 2nd annual Japan Autonomic Computing Day where partners announced
their latest products and services based on Autnomic Computing standards and IBM self-managing technologies. Lots of real code demos (not chart-ware), numerous company presentations, and standing room only!
For those who read Japanese(or those who just want to see a picture of Holly and I in the interview in Tokyo) here is an example of some of the press generated: Self-Healing Software Diagnoses IT Problems Based on Symptoms The Next Wave of Smart Problem Determination Software Uses Historical Knowledge to Prescribe Solutions for Problems…
After Japan, I made my first personal visit to Seoul,September 14-15. I met with a number of companies there and I was so impressed with the collaboration and innovative work around autonomic standards and technology that went beyond IT infrastructure to appliance applications. I did have the chance to enjoy some of the local food - an experience that took me beyond food to ancient chinese medicine. Most memorable was a black chicken ginseng soup - It is believed that Ginseng improves the body's resistance to stress and to increase vitality...kind of like autonomic self-managing technology...
And I am learning a new language: Korean! Annyong-haseyo![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 453 Visits
Which female recording artist owns a chicken and waffles restaurants based in Atlanta, was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, and is ranked number eighteen in the 2005 Guinness Book of World Records' list of the most successful female musical artists of all time? I will actually have a chance to hear her perform tonight (as part of my job;) in a study of real self-managing.... soul.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 455 Visits
I am with thousands this week who have descended into the very busy city of Anaheim, California for the IBM Information on Demand Conference, 2006. Information on Demand is all about providing the right information to the right people or process at the right time.My session in Anaheim focused on driving more value in Information on Demand with self-managing autonomic technology. I met with customers, business partners, and other IBM colleagues to explore how to deliver information without disruption from todays' most complex infrastructures. We discussed how the latest autonomic innovations including those found in DB2 and Tivoli are meeting this challenge in areas such as problem determination, intelligent configuration and optimization. I always learn so much from these conferences, new insights, applications, and ideas from other attendees. One company that I was particulary intrigued in yesterday was Stratavia that provides autonomic management of databases. Stratavia invited me over to their hospitality suite at the Annabella where we did a deep dive into their product capabilities and explored how they are 'elevating the art of database administration.' The final art that I enjoyed yesterday was the performance of Gladys Knight, part of the conference (and yes, the answer to my last blog question.) I grew up with Gladys Knight and the Pips and it was great to hear her songs come alive again last night(and this morning.) I woke up singing Midnight Train.... Oh yes, she can still sing in a way to move your soul.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 496 Visits
Remember Spock on the bridge in his thoughtful pose or Uhuru always ready at the keyboard? And do you remember how they would effortlessly ask a question(verbal or keyboard) and the computer interface on the bridge would instantly produce a concise answer? No issues with response time, search variables, heterogeneous or unfederated databases, calls to the help desk, etc. As I was riding back on the plane last week, with time to reflect on the Information on Demand(IoD) conference in Anaheim, I was left with a strong sense of IoD as more of a movement now than a marketing campaign, born and thriving...a movement driven by the need for information. It's about the need to make better use of the data that inundates our daily lives, it's about the ability to get the exact information from that data in a timeframe that usefully serves the need.
In a recent article written by Allen Brown entitled The next information revolution he writes, 'This new kind of information flow without boundaries requires a technical infrastructure built on open standards--one that is designed to enable individuals as well as their distinct IT systems to all work together...we'll need great architects who can develop and implement a great architecture...'
Could not agree more! In fact, my presentation at IoD echoed exactly that. More importantly I outlined how the extensive autonomic standards work and architecture, already in place, now being leveraged by on demand , SOA , ITSM , or by IoD , is serving as an enabler to this movement. Brown also writes about the movement's need for qualified architects and to that end we have worked extensively to make nonproprietary tools, technologies, accelerators available on developerWorks, and alphaWorks , and now even opensource as well as training for business partners at our global IBM Innovation Centers.
Of course a movement needs a forum and the IoD conference in Anaheim was a fantastic start. According to Brown, the Open Group will also launch the industry's first association of enterprise architects early next year which will serve as a forum for advancement and best practices as well.
IoD is indeed a movement and count me in on this trek[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 496 Visits
Competition often fuels advancements in technology, but paradoxically vendor cooperation can also create greater customer value. And in today's multi-platform heterogeneous IT environments, business value is more dependent than ever on vendors working together. The IBM Service Management Partner Ecosystem is a new initiative that enables partner companies to drive innovation together around a common platform that delivers greater holistic value to customers.
Networking companies, independent software vendors (ISVs), system integrators, consultants, resellers and distributors can take advantage of the open standards, superior technology and marketing collaboration supported by the IBM Service Management Partner Ecosystem to offer competitive differentiation, better integration and faster return on customer IT investments.
Inspired by Moore's idea of a business ecosystem, the IBM Service Management Partner Ecosystem members have embarked on a great opportunity for both customers and the IT industry. As the members of this ecosystem co-evolve their offerings, a more valuable set of goods and services will ultimately emerge for our customers. Click on the link above to read the full text of this article, or watch these videos on the video player(choose episode: partner ecosystem) from the main ISM Launch page where you can find many other resources as well.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 649 Visits
What could be more precious than an open library for partners and customers to share best practices for automation?
All IBM Service Management Partner Ecosystem solutions are eligible for entry into the IBM Open Process Automation Library (OPAL), a comprehensive online catalog with over 400 IBM Tivoli and Business Partner Product Extensions, including automation packages, integration adapters, agents, documentation and supporting information. This well-established library offers customers an abundant set of resources to drive innovative connections among partners in the IBM Service Management Ecosystem. Within OPAL, customers can easily find a wealth of ready-to-use, technically-validated extensions that are based on best practices for IBM Service Management and Infrastructure Management.[Read More]
I have blogged in the past about fellow New Yorker, James Blake, and now I can boast. Yesterday Blake not only matched but decidely beat the powerful forehand of world ranked number two Rafael Nadal 6-4, 7-6 for an upset at the Masters Cup in China on Monday.
I have also blogged extensively about how autonomic computing delivers a winning performance for each of the Grand Slam tournaments and on Novemeber 28, John Kent, Program Manager for IBM’s Worldwide Sponsorship of Tennis, and I will have a chance to boast how autonomic self-managing technologies are key to SOA and IBM Service Management. We will be in Las Vegas at the Gartner 25th Annual Data Center Conference .
Differentiation that raises the bar for the entire industry is what takes a company from industry player to marketplace leader. One such differentiator for successfully implementing SOA and IBM Service Management projects is self-managing autonomic technology. This cross-brand, cross-platform technology optimizes the balance between labor and technology, thereby reducing costs, boosting productivity, and sustaining growth.So...join us in Vegas to learn more about how these capabilities can help you to increase agility, service quality, and reduce cost in your company and have some fun as well![Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 653 Visits
New to the developerWorks Autonomic Computing zone, December 12:
Learn how Apache Muse 2.0 can be used to create WSDM interfaces for resource types that have hundreds or thousands of instances and do it so the endpoint doesn't overburden its host
Keep your WSDM endpoints trim with Apache Muse 2.0
What a journey we have been on since Alan Ganek took the mantle of leadership of the Autonomic Computing mission in 2001! - in fact I often find myself telling people I left my job a long time ago and am currently on a mission to change the way we work in the IT industry! Of course, there is a lot left to do, but as we celebrate the 5th anniversary, I would like to share a few of the stats that reflect just how much has been accomplished:
500+ autonomic features in 75 IBM products
3 IBM led autonomic based Service Offerings
10's of thousands of Autonomic toolkit downloads
Dozens of customer references in every industry
60+ partners delivering products with Autonomic standards and IBM Self-Managing Autonomic Feature
4th version of architectural blueprint published
20+ specs submitted to standards bodies
Web Services Distributed Management ratified(Includes WSDM Event Format)
1+ million pageviews of the autonomic zone on developerWorks
Open Source Contributions to Eclipse and Apache
36+ autonomic conferences worldwide
3rd IEEE International Conference on AC took place in Ireland, 4th is already scheduled for 2007
autonomiccomputing.org launched by academia[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 711 Visits
I just love it when everything falls into place, don't you? The planets are in alignment. We have a black belt team of architects in place, and we are on a new industry solution mission! This has motivated me to start a new blog focused on Industry Solutions and the critical role Tivoli plays for the industry... So why Tivoli and why now? How can software that has traditionally managed IT, be not only relevant, but essential to Industry based solutions? In case you have not been watching Tivoli lately, there are a number of galatically important events that have prominently positioned Planet Tivoli for this new role. They include the following:
Tivoli's successful evolution to IBM service management (ISM) which elevates Tivoli from IT management to the management of critical business applications
Tivoli's successful acquistions of key industry management software like Micromuse, MRO, Consul, and Vallent which really make the connection to industry-specific management
Tivoli's alignment with industry standards and the ISM open platform and ecosystem as an enabler to build out industry solutions from numerous technologies
And last but certainly not least, the evolution of SOA based industry frameworks that require a holistic and systematic approach to management.
I will be outlining which industry plays we are starting with and exactly how Tivoli will play a role in each play. so... watch this 'space!' We are in orbit![Read More]
Let's start with the aerospace industry. Here is a humorous look at the opportunity to automate error sensing and maintenance in aircraft.
Qantas pilots fill out a form, called a "gripesheet," which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. Themechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, andthen pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight. Here are someactual maintenance complaints submitted by Qantas' pilots (marked witha P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenanceengineers.Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor.
P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.
P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.
P: Something loose in cockpit.S: Something tightened in cockpit.
P: Dead bugs on windshield.S: Live bugs on back-order.
P: Autopilot in a latitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minutedescent.S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.
P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.S: Evidence removed.
P: DME volume unbelievably loud.S: DME volume set to more believable level.
P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.
P: Target radar hums.S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.
P: Suspected crack in windshield.S: Suspect you're right.
P: Number 3 engine missing.S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.
P: Aircraft handles funny. S: Aircraft warned to: straighten up, fly right, and be serious.
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 398 Visits
It is more than an alternative to the 'gripe sheet!' It includes:
A Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) working environment - that capitalized on IBM R&D, infrastructure and capability
It is greater then a single point solution - it links the clients global business operation with suppliers operations on the one hand and the customer on the other.
It aligns critical systems with information and makes them work faster and smarter across all channels and lines of business.
Utilizes client infrastructure to support the simultaneous development of products, process and supply chain
It provides a means to rapidly on-board new client business
It can potentially reduce integration project development and maintenance costs in their end products by 30% or more[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 626 Visits
Getting from my house to JFK can really be a traffic nightmare. So last month when I finally boarded the plane, stowed my carry-on, turned off the cell, and buckled my seatbelt, I closed my eyes and breathed a sigh of relief. That is when the pilot announced that a part needed to be replaced in the cockpit and the part was not available at JFK and the plan was to wait for it to be delivered by another inbound aircraft. About the only thing I could be grateful for, at that moment, was the Sudoko book my wife just gave me.
In the Aerospace and Defense industry, the management of the 'aircraft lifecycle' presents a unique challenge to aircraft operators and maintenance organizations as aircraft configurations are complex and dynamic.
We are working to address this challenge (and spend less time waiting on airplanes for maintenance). This solution is based on a Service Oriented Architecture which enables loosely coupled business services that are provided in an interoperable and technology agnostic manner. The architecture focuses on bringing all key components together to eliminate “silos” of data and work processes.
To connect all these services together, we have created a group of Connectivity Services that are SOA based to allow collaboration between enterprise asset management products (like IBM Tivoli Maximo 6.2) and Partner products (such as SAP.) We are also adding Tivoli management tools to this architecture like: ITCAM(Tivoli Composite (SOA) Application Manager),and TAM (Tivoli Access Manager.)
What does this all this mean to the airlines and to their customers? Let me give you an example. Using process modeling and SOA based execution capabilities to automate the repair process, an aircraft sitting at the gate will be allowed to continue on its next leg rather than being pulled out of service to make the repair. This solution should result in a two thirds reduction in the time it takes to do the repair which translates into big cost savings for the airlines industry and fewer delays for passengers (like you and I.;)[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 698 Visits
Like many others, my personal collection of electronic devices is rapidly growing which is a good thing, as long as there is electricity!
Power demand is forecast to
Enter IUN - the Intelligent Utility Network. IUN consists of: a Utility Data / Information Strategy, an Information Architecture & Roadmap, and an Infrastructure that will enable ‘on-demand’ monitoring and access the T&D grid as it relates to the utilities customers and assets. This will enable a utility to continuously automate and optimize operations as well as planning. The end goal is improved service, reliability, & utilization, which should help to address the problems we are faced with today and in the future.
This week I am headed To Phoenix to meet with a number of utilities to discuss the current state and challenges of this industry and explore how the application of Tivoli and IUN can help. and of course I will be blogging about my findings.[Read More]
Persistent power grid failures, an aging workforce, the instability of oil prices, and the severity of changes in weather conditions have significantly raised the urgency of the issues of energy generation and management — for governments, corporations and the public overall.
In IBM’s view, the work extends beyond any single company, industry or even country. It will require innovation and collaboration on many fronts. The goal: sustainable energy use that can build economies while protecting the planet. The challenge: rethink and redesign the systems that bring power to the people.
This week in the valley of the Sun and Sparks (newly crowned) a number of energy providers, energy analysts and energy consultants met with us to discuss challenges, requirements, and the evolution of the industry.
Converging market forces have increased the need for greater network reliability, efficiency, flexibility and observability; and, they have increased the need for better enterprise integration and information transparency. To address these needs, energy and utility companies have begun to examine strategies that move from mostly centralized infrastructures to those that will accomodate distributed and renewable energy sources such as biomass, wind, solar, and water.
Distributed energy will need to be managed more like a computer network infrastructure,a smart grid that can take advantage of an end-to-end topology where monitoring and management will take place close to points of use and providing a platform for closed loop automation.
The IBM Intelligent Utility Network (IUN) is IBM’s instantiation of what utilities refer to as the Smart Grid, providing solutions to enable new business models and approaches to business operations. IUN provides a roadmap and data model for the processes, technology and business partners to deliver informed decision making through an IP-enabled continuous sensing network which connects all parts of the utility (T&D equipment, control systems, applications, employees and more). Key to the IUN roadmap is IBM’s embrace of open source defacto and emerging standards built on a systems oriented architecture that will allow the kind of flexibility future challenges will demand.
IBM has developed a way for utilities to strategically organize, build upon and operate their assets for maximum efficiency and flexibility - a framework design known as SAFE - Solution Architecture For Energy & Utilities(SAFE). SAFE is an extension of IBM’s business integration reference for SOA. It embraces all the functional areas necessary for an energy and utility company to integrate its systems in today's environment.
Safe also provides the perfect platform for us to connect our industry leading management products from Tivoli including Maximo, Netcool, Consul, Security, and the IBM Service Desk. We have just completed our first pass architecture for Tivoli on SAFE and are engaging in some very innovative (and exciting) POCs with customers that should drive new ways to deliver...er.. power to the people...right on![Read More]
SAFE(IBM's Solution Architecture for Energy) provides a SOA based foundation for those industry specific applications that are the lifeblood of every utility company. When you consider these apps, it becomes obvious why they are so key and thus the importance of the SAFE ecosystem. Examples include: Customer Information System(CIS)which is, according to IDC , 'Paramount to Improving Revenue Assurance for Utilities'; Geographic Information System (GIS)which provides the critical capability to capture, store, analyze and manage data and utility attributes which are spatially referenced to the earth; and Enterprise Assest Management (EAM) which provides for the optimal management of the physical assets of a utility to maximize value. These are just a few examples.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 702 Visits
Ever wonder what happened to the Armored car? I remember watching movies like 'Armored Car Robbery' originally released this month, 57 years ago, and seeing them as a kid, wondering how thick the walls were and what it would take to puncture a tire... These days most of the big money is moved around between banks electronically...and all over the world. Dozens of systems and formats are used by different types of financial institutions and enterprises to transfer payments. And of course all of this has to be done quickly and securely, much better in fact than the armored car of the past. There are new demands for changes to electronic payment processing due to new Internet e-business systems, new messaging standards, formats, regulatory changes, and ever changing software. Using an SOA architecture, like the Enterprise Payments Platform financial institutions can keep up with these changes, while at the same time ensuring the high level of security and compliance required for these systems.
It seems like you could always count on government, taxes, and banks being closed on national holidays. Well, not anymore...at least for banks anyways...
Although financial institutions have been processing electronic payments for decades, the commercial use of the Internet, since the 1990s, has created a huge volume of electronic payments. Today’s banking customer have also changed dramatically with the commerce prevalent on the Internet.
24x7x365 is the new standard. Bank Holidays? Bank Weekends? Psshh...forget it! Customer purchasing and banking behaviors have necessitated online banking services on a 24x7x365 basis. The concept of a “bank holiday” just doesn’t apply anymore, at least from a customer perspective. Customer satisfaction is now more heavily influenced by the ease-of-use of the online GUI than the personality of a teller. There is a distinct shift in user demographics, attitudes and behaviors. Customers are demanding more transparency into their transactions and expect more responsiveness from their banking queries such as “where is my transaction held up right now?”
Traditionally, financial institutions either developed their own custom applications or bought ready-made, monolithic software packages from vendors, but then spent months and often years customizing them. Each of these packages sometimes provided common functionality but these could not be shared across packages.
Enter SOA! Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is an architectural pattern for the business and IT organizations to deftly adapt to change, collaborate together and develop new solutions rapidly. IBM offers an enterprise payments platform(EPP) that provides financial institutions with a framework to apply SOA to payments processing. By using open architectures and documented models, EPP supports a common definition of data and services thus allowing for phased and component based development and encouraging re-use and consistency across the enterprise.
EPP provides a mechanism for financial institutions to renovate payment rules and process flows in a progressive manner to SOA. The beauty and promise of SOA is that it virtualizes hardware/software artifacts by trivializing the boundaries created by the different environments that host Service components. Tivoli Software provides management solutions for the EPP to be viable in actual production environments. For example: Security management gains paramount importance as newer distributed technologies such as SOA get deployed over insecure public networks. Tivoli Identity Manager, Tivoli Access Manager, Tivoli Federated Identity Manager, Tivoli Security Operational Manager and Tivoli Compliance Insight Manager are a set of products that support the needs of EPP’s SOA payment infrastructure.
One of the key characteristics of SOA based solutions is that it is an application abstraction that hides the complexities of different methods and technologies from the business users. However, those complexities do not disappear. Beneath EPP is the underpinning of a large ecosystem of middleware, physical and application resources that need to be properly installed, configured and managed. Tivoli Software offers a suite of products for monitoring SOA and ESB solutions at the various layers of abstraction found in SOA. The IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager suite has flavors that cater to the Service level(ITCAM for SOA), the J2EE level(ITCAM for J2EE or ITCAM for WebSphere). The transaction level monitoring is handled by ITCAM for Response Time Tracking while the IBM Tivoli Monitoring product manages the low-level infrastructure resources.
So enjoy the 4th! Your bank will be hard at work for you, managed and secured by Tivoli.[Read More]
Playing dodge with 50,000 foot cumulonimbus thunderheads is not really my idea of fun but
It was 1:00 AM in the morning when a neighborhood in the Dallas-Fort Worth area was hammered
Later that night the doorbell rang. An electric company technician, standing in the driving
rain, explained that half of the community was without power and that they suspected that
the problem was in the backyard of this particular house.
As it turns out, the explosions were caused by a tree falling into the utility power pole.
Most power company monitoring systems are unable to pinpoint exactly where problems
originate, but can only narrow it down to a probable area. Good old fashion footwork and
visual inspection of poles is how the source of the problem is often determined. The power
was restored by 6AM but not with out a few more explosions and some very dangerous repairs
in the pouring rain by a crew of four men up on the poles.
There is no shortage of appreciation from me for those utility technicians that are dispatched in
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 632 Visits
Transistors are getting smaller and smaller. When introduced in 1990, IBM's POWER 1
Close to a billion transistors are great for the consumer, as they enable new
What do simulations need to run? Well... many things, but at the heart of the system is compute
Seems like a lot of management but consider the advantages which include: Significantly higher grid
IBM Service management(ISM) can ensure the performance, reliability and security for manufacturing based solutions. Let's look at the automotive industry for example. There is a transformational restructuring occurring within all auto companies to stop market share losses that have also resulted in failures of lower tier suppliers, and in turn threaten large suppliers and raise the cost of manufacturing, overall. ISM for Manufacturing Productivity Software Solution(MPSS) can help.
First let's take a look at MPSS. IBM's MPSS is a solution enablement framework, intended to accelerate and facilitate the creation of manufacturing solutions for the automotive industry that integrates the factory floor with suppliers and other systems in the company(such as order management, inventory management and quality systems.) MPSS does this by providing a framework, templates, and tools for integration of existing applications and creation of new applications based on a Services Oriented Architecture (SOA).
What value does ISM add to MPSS? ISM provides the ability to define and automate key processes. The Change and Configuration Database(CCMDB), for example, provides the ability to discover all configuration items and their relationships, a platform for designing and implementing workflows, and best practice processes for change and configuration management. Another example is the The Tivoli Availability Process Manager, that can add best practices workflows for availability management, incident management, and problem management which are key to managing the performance, reliability and security for manufacturing based solutions.
As an aging asset myself, I am always on the lookout for good anti's... Anti-virus, anti-spam, antioxidants, antidotes, and even anti events.It seems to me that the ANTI
, a contemporary live-art festival held in Kuopio, Finland, would be a very cool rejuvenating experience.
Utility companies face a triple threat of aging assets, workforce, and IT systems which we are reminded of with every outage or degradation of service. The good news is there is antidote for these aging assets which can be found in software - specifically Tivoli Software. With a recent increased focus on industry solutions and service management and acquisitions such as Micromuse and MRO very effective antidotes are indeed emerging.
For example, consider IP addressable assets communicating via wireless protocols to cell relays that in turn communicate via broadband powerline connected to customer information systems, geospatial informations systems and it monitoring systems. Whether you are talking about power, water, or multi-media services, more and more of the underlying infrastructure is becoming IP addressable and that means they can be monitored and managed as a network device. The combination of Maximo and Netcool technologies with Tivoli core capabilities creates a powerful antidote to drive down cost and increase automation in the aging infrastructure.[Read More]
Our team just returned from the SIBOS show in Boston this week. Thanks to all those that visited our Booth #F47, where we demonstrated a payment solutions framework, consisting of IBM and Business Partner components which allows customers to progressively transform their payments infrastructure. This accommodates change nondisruptively for regulatory demands, such as, SEPA or to enhance their business process for competitive advantage. The IBM Booth at Sibos introduced the elements which make up the IBM SOA Financial Services Payments Roadmap. These included our thought leadership, partner content and SOA foundation extended for payments which are part of the IBM SOA Financial Services Payments Framework.[Read More]
Today we are celebrating an important milestone - the one-year anniversary of the MRO Software acquisition. This was a unique acquisition, as it spanned Software Group (SWG), Global Business Services (GBS) and Global Technology Services (GTS).
Through extensive investment, both GBS and GTS have expanded their Maximo practices across the globe to respond to the growing need for Maximo implementation and application management services. Our service delivery capabilities have been the key differentiator for many customer successes.
Development has delivered against the product roadmap including Maximo v6.2, Tivoli Service Request Manager, multiple industry solutions and Maximo technology being leveraged throughout the Tivoli portfolio. Our product roadmap will deliver the convergence of enterprise and IT asset management, and we're eagerly anticipating v7.1 of CCMDB with Maximo in October and v7.1 of the additional asset management products in 1Q08.
All MRO customers have been transitioned to IBM Software Support, where they are receiving a level of support that is exceeding expectations and differentiating IBM in the marketplace.
Maximo World 2007 was a huge success with record-breaking attendance. Our customers and partners have shown us they are reinvigorated about the future of Maximo with IBM.
To top it all off, ARC Advisory Group ranked IBM #1 in market share for Enterprise Asset Management and IDC positioned IBM Maximo in the leadership quadrant for both Power Generation and Work and Asset Management.[Read More]
The Solutions Experience Lab features many cross-industry solutions. When you take a tour of IBM's Solutions Experience Lab (SEL), in Austin, Texas, it's like stepping into a technology playhouse for adults. Guests visit a "kitchen," "garage," "hospital" and "living room," where you can interact with the latest IBM technologies. The habitats are staged like a high tech movie set(complete with lights, sound, and action), but the solutions are real.
The SEL is now featuring some of our IUN related work including:
- A WebSphere, Tivoli, DB2, Sametime Connect and System x energy and utilities solution that controls power usage.
- A pervasive security/privacy solution based on Smart Surveillance System, IBM Research analytics, Tivoli, DB2 and WebSphere.
Let me give you an example: In the smart surveillance demo, Tivoli monitoring software hosts a digital ticker that streams electric grid status in real time. Lab technology monitors, not just the computers, but also the Smart Surveillance Solution running on IBM System x servers.Smart Surveillance applications, such as virtual trip wires, shift surveillance vigilance from humans to security solutions that can stay alert 24/7.
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 675 Visits
Providers are challenged with trying to deliver more services more quickly. While they have many services that depend on successfully integrating hosts and network devices (SMS, VOIP, VOD, IPTV, etc) they are moving toward creating a generalized service delivery platform, IMS. While this is going on they are struggling mightily to drive the costs out of operating their networks. Today, they have management silos for their voice, transport, and IP networks, silos for fault, performance, and security management, and silos for IT and network operations management. IMS overlays these silos and abstracts the services from how they are delivered. It is these two factors, 1)IMS that overlays yet critically depends on many of the silos working for it to work, and 2)the growing understanding that cross silo troubleshooting requires people to get on the phone, and that costs time and money, that are driving providers to begin looking for ways of assuring the delivery of the services and breaking down the management silos.[Read More]
Our Software Group architecture represents the careful coordination and combined wisdom of our industry Sector organization, Websphere and Tivoli organizations. We have working on combining fault and performance management for our Next Gen service assurance architecture. We always have to care about fault but the high availability, cross function and cross vendor integration requirements, and emerging technologies involved in creating a NexGen service mean that performance issues are critical to delivering NexGen services. Thanks to our involvement in the Service Model workgroup and the creation of some service models, we’ve been able to inform some of the work that has come out of that group and move us a little more rapidly toward the delivery of software that combines and correlates fault and performance for network management.
Another important thread that goes through this architecture is the convergence of system and network management. In the process of working with Service Providers we were able to see two things, one; carriers want to treat general purpose hosts running general purpose operating systems and specific applications as network devices performing specific tasks that use SNMP for events and counters related to the performance of those tasks, two; that there are some obvious problems with an approach to managing systems that doesn’t treat them as systems and leverage what we know about managing systems.
We also discovered pretty early on that security is a critical part of NexGen service assurance, first; because Denial of Service attacks have critical effects on device and system performance, and second, because these are income generating services and revenues that ride on being able to deliver services to paying customers and deny services to those who don’t pay or aren’t customers.
As we face the question of how to converge our systems and network management styles and capabilities, our customers are facing the same challenges. What is exciting for us is that we, as a solutions group, get to participate in the cross product/cross platform/cross customer convergence efforts and if we get it right enough soon enough, we’ll be able to help our customers with the same problems.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 741 Visits
At a point in the past we were focused on root cause analysis, but it turns out that the root cause of the problem is frequently outside the system, here's an example...
It's a few minutes before midnight at a cable company. The plan is to test the battery backup by cutting off the power. Someone is standing by the big junction box and ready to cut off the power to the street. (Over the past few years the focus has been on adding devices to the network and not on maintaining the batteries that backed up the street power...you get the picture...)
The clock strikes twelve and the lever is thrown, the power doesn't even stutter and the entire head end switches over to battery backup....success!....then someone says, "what's that smell?" uh oh, it looks like the batteries are cooking off...no problem, back they go to street power with a flick of the switch....meanwhile,a couple blocks away, a transformer turns into a roman candle. turns out they'd crossed some electrical line with the load rating of the transformer that served their facility.
The power goes out
Thousands of subscribers marooned
It is now a couple minutes past midnight and the cable company has gone from a perfectly functioning head end serving thousands of customers to a cable tv black hole...all without having a single problem ( outside the ones they made for themselves.)
Regularly scheduled preventive maintenance makes such a nice difference, doesn't it? even with cable network assets...The work we are doing in Tivoli Industry Solutions is championing the convergence or IT and non IT asset management into industry focused solutions.[Read More]
DavidBBartlett 0600017MDJ 831 Visits
I am a fan of the Die Hard series (and that genre of movies.) The last film in the series Live Free or Die Hard did not disappoint. It was a worst case scenario security breach, that drives home the point that we cannot spend too much time thinking about security of the systems we are continually evolving.
While touring an energy company’s distribution center a few weeks ago, questions arose about how the company secures its SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) and process control systems. Of course this particular energy company goes to great lengths to isolate the distribution control systems from the corporate network, to diligently perform intrusion detection, and to rigidly enforce identity life cycle management.
The United States government is also very interested in how the owners and operators of bulk-power systems have either taken or are taking appropriate steps to protect against cyber-security vulnerabilities. Energy and utility companies are evolving to intelligent grids with integrated business and control systems that require access by a greater number of users. The concern is that as the utility grids become more interconnected to the Internet, run of the mill hackers and even terrorist groups will have greater opportunity to attack power generation, transmission, and distribution centers. A succession of minor disruptions to the flow of electricity flowing across power lines and transformers into homes and business has the potential to greatly impact the profit margins of energy and utility companies.
The problem has gained the attention of the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Federal regulators have issued a directive which:
'…requires all generator owners, generator operators, transmission owners and transmission operators that are registered by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. and located in the United States to provide to NERC certain information related to actions they have taken or intend to take to protect against' similar cyber vulnerabilities, according to the notice...'
While this is good step in the right direction, I think American energy and utility companies will need to take a good hard look at how they can better thwart future cyber attacks of the energy infrastructure.
"In a rare public warning to the power and utility industry, a CIA analyst last week said that cyberattackers have hacked into the computer systems of utility companies outside the United States and made demands, in at least one case causing a power outage that affected multiple cities.
Our Tivoli Industry Solutions architecture team for the Intelligent Utility takes this kind of news seriously.
The Tivoli Security framework provide a comprehensive protection against isolating control networks in industrial environments such as power generating stations, water treatment plants and gas industries. Starting with operating systems, Tivoli products such as Tivoli Access Manager for Operating Systems provide a layer of authorization policy enforcement in addition to that provided by the UNIX(R) and Linux(R) operating systems. An administrator defines additional authorization policy by applying fine-grained access controls that restrict or permit access to key system resources. Controls are based on user identity, group membership, the type of operation, the time of day or the day of the week, and the accessing application.
User identity management and provisioning entitlements are managed through a robust role based access control product called Tivoli Identity Manager. Identities are vetted with a stringent process using a Trusted Identity framework to provide identity-proofing before enrolling contract laborers. Web applications managing utility controls can be finely tuned to adhere to strict separation of duties and role and rule-based access control policies. Tivoli's Federated Identity Manager establishes a circle-of-trust to ensure only the most stringently vetted identities from outside the utility company can come in through the IP networks to access secure resources such as switchgear control switching centers and equipment. To complement these enforcement products, Tivoli provides a range of audit and compliance management products such as Tivoli Security Operations Manager and Tivoli Compliance Insight Manager to track operational activity, correlate events generated by the security infrastructure as well as perform compliance monitoring analysis on privileged user activity.
Together, Tivoli's products reduce the risk of unauthorized entry into the utilities control networks.